Monday, January 22, 2018

Free Naloxone Training Sessions in Greene County, NY

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services today announced that it will conduct a series of free Naloxone training sessions to be held in Greene County. The trainings are supported by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. During the sessions, participants will learn how to recognize, respond to, and reverse an opioid overdose using Naloxone.

“Naloxone is an important tool in the fight against addiction, and has been instrumental in saving lives across New York State by reversing the effects of an overdose,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “I urge anyone who is able to take advantage of these trainings to do so and learn how to administer this lifesaving medication. By ensuring more people know how to use Naloxone, we help to further protect the health of all New Yorkers and build stronger communities.”

The dates, times, and locations of each training session are listed below:
January 23, 6:00pm: DM Hamilton Steamer Company #2:119 Mansion Street, Coxsackie NY 12051 (Contact Jen Warren at (518) 380-4585 to register) 
February 5, 6:00pm: Ashland Town Hall: 12094 Route 23, Ashland NY 12407 (Contact Heather Younes at (518) 734-3636 to register) 
February 7, 3:30pm & 6:00pm: Mountain Top Library: 6093 Main Street, Tannersville NY 12485 (Contact Maureen Garcia at (518) 589-5707 to register)
 All training sessions are free and open to the public, but reservations for each event are strongly encouraged. Participants must be at least 16 years of age.

OASAS is also seeking partners for similar training events in Greene County. Communities and organizations looking to arrange additional trainings can email or call (518) 485-0757.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state's toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).

Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at or through the NYS OASAS website.

Visit to learn more about the warning signs of addiction, review information on how to get help, and access resources on how to facilitate conversations with loved ones and communities about addiction. 

For tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug use, visit the State's Talk2Prevent website.

Source: The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

Senate Advances Measure to End Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON — The three-day government shutdown is on the verge of ending after enough Senate Democrats joined Republicans to advance a three-week extension of funding in exchange for GOP assurances that Congress would take up a larger immigration bill in that time.

The stopgap funding measure, which needed 60 votes to clear a key procedural hurdle, was approved 81 to 18.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

SA President Applauds Chancellor’s State of the University System Address

The following statement was issued today by SUNY Student Assembly president Marc J. Cohen. 

“SUNY students applaud the vision outlined for our system by Chancellor Kristina Johnson in her first State of the University System address. In just her first few months in office, Chancellor Johnson has consistently and passionately engaged students in issues affecting the SUNY community. We appreciate how that engagement has influenced the Chancellor’s vision for SUNY.

"The Student Assembly supports Chancellor Johnson’s call for doubling the amount of research done on SUNY campuses. As the Chancellor noted, investing properly in research now will allow SUNY to be a national leader in technological development in the decades to come.

"SUNY students need their campus and system administrations to recognize the unique struggles and obstacles many face on the path to degree completion. The commitment to individualized education articulated by the Chancellor presents new opportunities for SUNY to ease these obstacles for students.

"The Student Assembly strongly supports the Chancellor’s commitment to making SUNY a national and global leader in environmental sustainability. Setting more ambitious targets for reducing SUNY’s carbon footprint, as the Chancellor did in her address, is a necessary response to the immediacy of the challenges posed by climate change.

"Developing strong public-private partnerships is a key policy priority for the Chancellor, and the Student Assembly recognizes the potential for such partnerships to yield vital academic and employment opportunities for students. It is important for students to know that the time and money invested in their degrees will lead to well-paying, stable employment after graduation. We applaud the Chancellor’s engagement with the private sector to create visible pathways to employment for students.”

Source: SUNY SA

'Harlem Hellfighters' Exhibit at the Empire State Plaza

Members of the 369th Infantry Regiment wearing the Croix de Guere (Cross of War) in 1919. The Croix de Guere is a French military decoration first awarded during World War I to French and allied foreign soldiers. Image Courtesy of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

New York State Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn M. Destito today announced a new exhibition, Their Glory Can Never Fade: The Legacy of The Harlem Hellfighters, will be on view in the Vietnam Memorial Gallery located in the Robert Abrams Justice Building at the Empire State Plaza, February 1, 2018 through February 28, 2019. Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment.

“This special exhibition will honor the achievements and sacrifices the soldiers of the African American 369th Infantry Regiment made in defense of our nation as well as their contributions to the great American art form, jazz,” Commissioner Destito said. “For too long their valor went unrecognized, and we at OGS are proud to continue what Governor Cuomo, following the 2015 posthumous awarding of the Medal of Honor to Harlem Hellfighter and Albany resident Sgt. Henry Johnson, described as efforts to right this historic wrong. I encourage everyone to see this exhibition and be inspired by these brave New Yorkers’ courage and accomplishments.”

This exhibition explores the history and legacy of an all-African American regiment from New York that was dispatched to fight for France in World War I. Authorized in 1913, and based in Harlem, the 369th Infantry Regiment, formerly known as the 15th Infantry of the New York National Guard, was the first African American regiment of the New York National Guard. Prior to the War, the 369th also assembled talented African American and Puerto Rican musicians to form an impressive regimental band that influenced the development of jazz music.

The 369th served longer than any American regiment of World War I, and was nicknamed “Hellfighters” by the German army due to its actions on the battlefield. Through dedication and a sense of purpose to prove their worth, the 369th transformed into a decorated unit, despite the discrimination they faced during that time. In addition to their story of valor on the battlefield, members of the 369th regimental band left an indelible mark on music and cultures worldwide. 2018 marks the centennial of the Harlem Renaissance.

This legacy has had a lasting impact on African Americans’ participation in impending conflicts post-World War I, especially notable in the Vietnam War, which saw the largest proportion of African Americans serving in any American war. The Vietnam War officially marked the first time that African Americans served in fully integrated combat units.

NYS Division of Veterans Affairs Executive Deputy Director Joel Evans said, “New Yorkers who served during World War I faced a conflict that the world had never previously seen. They faced these battles with bravery and for their service and actions we are eternally grateful. With the centennial of World War I, it is important to remember those veterans who served like the soldiers of the 369th Regiment, which included heroes such as Henry Johnson. This exhibition ensures that the sacrifices and struggles of the dual identity of soldier and as African Americans of those who served in the 369th Regiment are recognized and given homage.”

369th Veterans Association Inc. Albany Chapter President Deryl McCray said, “As a member and president of the 369th Veterans Association Inc. This exhibition is a pride-building platform for our community, and will brighten the light upon a group of men who fought with conviction to prove their worth to our great country with hopes of equality as their reward. It gives me great pleasure to be the representative of 369th Veterans Association and our members who are committed to keeping and protecting the legacy of these great warriors who have played a significant role in shaping American and world history.”

The exhibition will feature historical objects and images, including a presentation of images that will be accompanied by the spoken words of Noble Sissle Jr., son of 369th veteran and musician Noble Sissle; Bronx Music Heritage Center Folklorist, City Lore and Co-Artistic Director Elena Martinez; 369th Experience Program Executive Producer Stephany Neal; and 369th Veterans Association Inc. Albany Chapter President Deryl McCray.

There will be an opening reception that is free and open to the public on Wednesday, February 7, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Vietnam Memorial Gallery. The event will feature special remarks by representatives of the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs and the 369th Veterans Association Inc.

For additional information about the exhibition and the New York State Vietnam Memorial & Gallery, click here; follow @NYSCapitol; visit on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; or call the Empire State Plaza Visitor Center and Gift Shop at (518) 474-2418.

Source: The New York State Office of General Services

Russian Politician Who Reportedly Sent Millions to NRA Has Long History in Spain

Spanish authorities were poised to arrest Alexander Torshin in a money-laundering case in 2013 when he mysteriously canceled his trip to Spain.

As the Spanish police investigated the presence of a notorious Russian organized crime group on the resort island of Mallorca in 2012, they realized that a key figure described by some of the suspects as their “godfather” was a powerful Moscow politician: Alexander Torshin.

Spanish prosecutors decided in the summer of 2013 to arrest Torshin, who was then a senator, officials say. Police set up an operation to capture him during a visit to Mallorca, but he mysteriously canceled the trip at the last minute, apparently as the result of a tip, authorities said. Torshin was never charged, while the other suspects were convicted of money laundering. Last year, he publicly denied any wrongdoing in the Spanish money-laundering case.

Now, Torshin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has reemerged as a potentially important figure in special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s inquiry into suspected Russian support for the campaign of President Donald Trump.

Yesterday, McClatchy Newspapers reported that the FBI is investigating whether Torshin, now a deputy governor of Russia’s central bank, funneled money to the National Rifle Association that was subsequently spent in support of the Trump campaign. The NRA reported spending $30 million on advertisements and other aid to Trump, part of a record $55 million that the group spent during the 2016 campaign cycle, according to the McClatchy story.

It is illegal for foreign groups and individuals to contribute directly or indirectly to political campaigns in the United States. A spokeswoman for the FBI declined to comment on the report Thursday.

Documents from the Spanish investigation make clear that the FBI had been looking closely for years at the Moscow-based organized crime group that Spanish authorities say was connected to Torshin. The FBI gave the Spaniards a memo about the group in 2013, and Spanish prosecutors provided information to FBI officials about Torshin, according to interviews and documents.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: ProPublica

DL Hughley Responds to Donald Trump's Comments About African Nations

Warning: Some of the terms used may be viewed as offensive.

Source: MoorInfoTV

Hollywood & Race: 'Ragtime' (1981)

Ragtime is both a compelling story of human emotions and a reflection of the innocence, excitement and drama of that important time in the country's history. Nominated for 8 Academy Awards.

Source: YouTube Movies

Trailblazers in Black History: Alice Augusta Ball

Alice Augusta Ball, a pharmaceutical chemist, was born in Seattle, Washington in 1892 to Laura and James P. Ball, Jr. Her grandfather was J.P. Ball, the well known daguerreotype photographer and her father was a promising lawyer. James P. Ball, Sr. moved to Hawaii for health reasons in 1903 with his family and opened a studio.  He died less than a year later and the family returned to Seattle in 1905. 

Alice Ball entered the University of Washington and graduated with two degrees in pharmaceutical chemistry in 1912 and pharmacy in 1914. In the fall of 1914, she entered the College of Hawaii (later the University of Hawaii) as a graduate student in chemistry.  On June 1, 1915, she was the first African American and the first woman to graduate with a master of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Hawaii. In the 1914-1915 academic year she also became the first woman to teach chemistry at the institution.

Click here for additional information.


African-American Pastors Condemn Trump's Vulgar Remarks, Call for Social Justice

by Mashaun D. Simon

Black Christian leaders are speaking out against President Donald Trump and his supporters in the wake of Trump’s alleged remarks about Haiti, El Salvador and African nations being “shithole countries” – and many of them are making their feelings known from the pulpit.

Eldren Morrison, senior pastor of Shaw Temple African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Smyrna, Georgia, used a sermonic moment to share his thoughts. His intent, he said, was to strike a chord with his congregants while also fulfilling his pastoral responsibility.

“I have been a pastor for about 18 years now, and have always thought and been taught that the black pastor, who has the freest voice within the community, that it’s on black pastors to really speak to the things going on that affect the black community,” Morrison told NBC News in a phone interview. “My hope was that I would encourage our congregation from my commentary while also bringing forth the truth of the gospel.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Two IEDs Detonate at Eagle Ridge Mall in Florida, No One Injured

Florida police were seeking a man who was seen running from a mall where two improvised explosive devices detonated Sunday, authorities said.

Lakes Wales Deputy Police Chief Troy Schulze told reporters that two pipe bombs appeared to have detonated in a service corridor near a JCPenney store at Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales, about 30 miles east of Tampa, at about 5:30 p.m., a half-hour before the mall was scheduled to close.

A third suspicious item was discovered near a movie theater, he said, but the state fire marshal's office determined that it was harmless. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Mike Pence Moves Up Timing for Jerusalem Embassy Move

Vice President Mike Pence addressed the Israeli parliament on Monday, lauding President Trump for "righting a 70-year wrong" with his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of the Jewish state. 

Source: CBS News 

Senator Calls President Trump 'Draft Dodger" in Fiery Speech

Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth, a decorated war vet and double amputee, responds to President Trump's accusation that the Democrats are holding the "military hostage" during the government shutdown.

Source: CBS News 

WH Press Secretary Reacts to 3rd Day of Government Shutdown

Shutdown Continues After Late Senate Vote Falls Short

Team Trump Bypassed DHS Analysts to Produce Bogus Terror Report

A Daily Beast Exclusive

The Trump administration was clear: ‘An analysis conducted by DHS’ concluded that 73% of terrorists were ‘foreign-born.’ Except DHS analysts had nothing to do with the conclusion.

By Spencer Ackerman

The document didn’t mince words. It claimed three-quarters of “international terrorism” convicts were immigrants, an assertion meant to bolster Donald Trump’s cherished Muslim-focused ban on entering the country. And the report put the claim in the mouths of an agency assembled to keep Americans safe after 9/11: the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Working off the 549 federal international-terrorism convictions tallied by the Justice Department, the document stated: “An analysis conducted by DHS determined that approximately 73 percent (402 of these 549 individuals) were foreign-born.”

But the Department of Homeland Security did not perform that analysis. DHS’ analysts did not contribute to the highly controversial report, The Daily Beast has learned.

According to a government source familiar with the episode, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ office took charge of the report’s assemblage of statistics—which some terrorism analysts consider highly misleading—and sent it to DHS Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen for her imprimatur after it was all but finalized.

“The Trump administration is trying to turn counterterrorism into an immigration issue,” said Charles Kurzman of the University of North Carolina, where he tracks Muslim-American involvement in terrorism. 

Click here for the full article.

SWC Demanding Justice for Anti-Semitic Attacks in France

The following statement was submitted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center

In the last few weeks in France the Simon Wiesenthal Center has become alarmed over disturbing incidents in the Jewish community:

The slashing of a 15-year old girl’s face who was wearing a Jewish school uniform as she was leaving her high school

A Jewish man was violently beaten with baseball bats and hospitalized following a middle of the night home invasion by three masked men

An arson attack on two kosher grocery stores less than a week after they were desecrated with anti-Semitic graffiti

The release of the suspect in Paris' Copernic synagogue bombing that left four dead and 41 wounded

These latest incidents led the SWC to immediately:

Meet with French Ministry of Interior and Justice officials to demand that adequate sentences be imposed by French judges for perpetrators of violent attacks on Jews.

Highlight the fact that France’s judicial system currently appears to be failing to deter such crimes.

Demand an explanation for the sudden, unannounced release to Canada of Hassan Diab, the accused suspect in the 1980 High Holy Day Copernic Synagogue attack and urge that the trial proceeds with or without him.

While at UNESCO, Center officials:

Emphasized that against the backdrop of the United States and Israel’s announced departure, the Director-General should try to stop new UNESCO resolutions that would continue to deny the 3,500-year relationship of the Jewish people to its land

Offered to work with Director-General Azoulay to oppose the creeping politicization of UNESCO

Urged Director-General Azoulay to take strong initiatives on behalf of endangered faith communities

We will keep the public updated on these and other developments in France through the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Paris office.

82% of the Wealth Generated in 2017 Went to the Richest: Oxfam Report

Source: SABC Digital News

It Was a 'Mistake' to Hold Yes-No Vote on Brexit, Says Macron

Source: euronews.

Saudi Arabia Pledges $1.5 Billion in Yemen Aid

Zambia Reopens Schools After Cholera Outbreak

Sudan's Press Freedom: Concern About Confiscations

Human Rights Watch Chief: 'Trump Has Been a Disaster for Human Rights'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Donald Trump's First Year: Fight Against Climate Change Continues Despite His Positions

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Israel: Pence Arrives Amid Fallout Over Trump's Jerusalem Declaration

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Turkey's Offensive in Syria: Fear and Anger as Rockets Hit Turkish Border Town

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Liberia: George Weah to Be Sworn in as President on Monday

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Brazil: Country ‘Ungovernable’ If Court Blocks Lula’s Election Run, Says Rousseff

Source: FRANCE 24 English

DR Congo: Security Forces Kill Several While Dispersing Anti-Kabila Protest

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Mayor de Blasio Speaks at Ribbon Cutting for Recording Academy's New York Office

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

City Scoop: 25,000 Affordable Apartments, More Homeless Outreach, City Divests from Fossil Fuels

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Politicians Demand Answers About NYPD Role in Immigrant Rights Activist’s Arrest

By Erin Durkin

City Council members are pressing for answers on the NYPD’s involvement in the arrest of a prominent immigrant rights activist.

After ICE agents detained Ravi Ragbir for deportation earlier this month — sparking protests and arrests — Councilmen Ritchie Torres and Carlos Menchaca wrote to NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill demanding that he release more information about how police dealt with the incident.

“We are gravely concerned about the nature of the NYPD’s response to the demonstration,” wrote Torres (D-Bronx), chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Committee, and Menchaca (D-Brooklyn), chairman of the Immigration Committee.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The New York Daily News (via Empire Report New York)

New York State Sees Worst Week for Influenza Hospitalizations in Recorded History

by Anne McCloy

Despite reports the flu shot isn't as effective this year, state health officials are urging all New Yorkers to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible.

The state has already seen 17,362 laboratory confirmed cases of influenza since the season started six weeks ago.

In just the last week, New York state saw a 54 percent increase in confirmed cases of the flu. It was the worst single week for influenza hospitalizations since the state started tracking the numbers in 2004, with a whopping 1,606 patients admitted to hospitals.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: CBS6 News (via Empire Report New York) 

Upstate NY Republicans Won't Accept Paychecks During Government Shutdown

By Robert Harding

Members of Congress will continue to be paid during the government shutdown, but four upstate New York Republicans say they won't accept their paychecks as long as the political standoff continues. 

U.S. Reps. Chris Collins, John Katko, Elise Stefanik and Claudia Tenney will refuse their pay for the duration of the shutdown. Katko, R-Camillus, said he won't accept his paycheck "until the government reopens and all of our nation's defense personnel are paid." Collins, R-Clarence, Stefanik, R-Willsboro, and Tenney, R-New Hartford, sent letters requesting the House chief administrative officer withhold their pay until the shutdown concludes. 

Tenney said if her paychecks aren't withheld, she will make a donation equal to her net pay to organizations in her district affected by the shutdown. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: (via Empire Report New York)

Corruption Trial of ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo Aide to Begin

By David Klepper

For decades, Joseph Percoco was among the most loyal aides and confidants to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, so close to his family that the governor once likened him to a brother.

This week, he faces trial in New York City on federal charges that he used that relationship to collect a fortune in bribes from two companies doing business with the state.

Jury selection is set to begin Monday in a case that has already proven to be a source of personal pain and political embarrassment for Cuomo, a Democrat and possible presidential candidate in 2020 who came into office vowing to do something about Albany's corrupt culture.

While Cuomo is not accused of wrongdoing and isn't expected to testify, the charges against Percoco have damaged both his image as a reformer and one of his signature policy initiatives, the investment of billions of dollars in public money in to upstate economic development programs.

Percoco, and others, are accused of enriching themselves by selling their influence to companies involved in those efforts.

Click here for the full article.

Source: ABC News (via Empire Report New York) 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Cuomo Announces Reopening of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Source: NYGovCuomo

In Memoriam: Leslie Wyche, 'Harlem's Mayor'

Community Activist Dead at 73

By Larry McShane

Leslie Wyche, a life-long Harlem resident known for years as the uptown neighborhood’s honorary mayor, passed away Thursday evening at a Bronx hospital. He was 73.

Wyche worked in the office of current state Assemblywoman Inez Dickens during her time on the City Council, and belonged to both the Omega Psi Phi fraternity and the advocacy group One Hundred Black Men, Inc.

"He really, really enjoyed people,” Dickens said.

“Practically everybody knew him, and they knew they could go up to him with a problem and he would take it to the right agency to get at the root of the issue.”

The dapper Wyche also appeared in several scenes as an extra in the movie “American Gangster,” where Denzel Washington played Harlem-based druglord Frank Lucas, said his friend Michael Garner, president of One Hundred Black Men.

“He was very socially conscious,” recalled Garner. “He gave back to the community. He was involved in politics.”

Click here for the full article.

Source: The New York Daily News (via Empire Report New York)

From The G-Man salutes Mr. Wyche's legacy and contributions to the Harlem community with the following video. May he forever rest in peace.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

US Government Shutdown: Who's to Blame?

Source: Al Jazeera English

Cuomo Delivers Remarks at the 2018 Women's March on New York City

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo delivered remarks at the 2018 Women's March on New York City. Last week, Governor Cuomo unveiled the 2018 Women's Agenda for New York—a 30 plank proposal to advance equality and promote opportunity in women and girls' health, safety, workplace, and family life.

here to listen. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo  

Mayor de Blasio and First Lady McCray Deliver Remarks at Rally

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Governor Cuomo Delivers Remarks at the Women's March Breakfast

Source: NYGovCuomo