Thursday, June 8, 2017

The James Comey Testimony (Full Video)


Russian Interference in the 2016 Election

In his first public appearance since his May 2017 dismissal, former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He said he had no doubt that he was fired for the role he played in the investigation, and detailed meetings and conversations he had with President Trump prior to his firing.  

Source: C-SPAN

Trump Attorney Statement


President Trump’s attorney Marc Kasowitz issued a statement following former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Capitol Hill earlier today.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

The Economic Impact of the Opioid Epidemic


Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and physicians testify before the Joint Economic Committee about the economic impact of the opioid epidemic, especially as it relates to jobs, wage growth, and labor force participation.

Source: C-SPAN

Speaker Paul Ryan Holds News Conference

 
Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Nancy Pelosi: President Worked Relentlessly to Obstruct Investigation

 
Click here for video. 

Source: C-SPAN

OpEd: A Trump Retrospective



THE DUOPOLY WATCH | Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

Looking back through my files, I have discovered that I have been writing about Trump, Trumpism, and the Trumpites for quite some time, going back to the old, independent, BuzzFlash in a column that appeared on April 28, 2011. In this column, I am briefly reviewing my Trump columns that have appeared here on The Greanville Post, under my general heading “The Duopoly Watch.” Not too many observers, including myself, thought he could win the Presidency. But hindsight is 20/20.
 
Now, given the strength of his combination of bringing out into the open the Repubs.’ traditional racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, and misogyny, and the many weaknesses of the Democratic Party and its candidate, it seems almost inevitable.  So, this column presents something of a time-line following the development of Trumpism along, to the present, where we face the imposition of a 21st century form of fascism on our nation.  That its putative leader was elected by a minority of the voting public, just as Hitler was (indirectly in that case), is no accident.
 
1. “Trump — Racist — Revisited,” was published on August 18, 2015.  I began that column thusly:
 
“Over four years ago, on BuzzFlash, I published a column on Donald Trump entitled “Trump is the Race Card.”  Yes, Trump is a blowhard, and no he doesn’t have any real programs to offer that would have a chance of solving the problems he likes to list (some real; some imagined.  His new [old by Repub. standards] “immigration” policy is a bad joke [see below]).  But like just about every other political commentator on our side around, I still find it irresistible to launch broadsides at him.”
 
2. The next one, on Oct. 2, 2015, was “Hair Trump or Herr Trump?” At the beginning of that one I noted that: “The Web is suddenly crawling with images of Trump as Hitler—the idea has apparently caught on. To what extent this is the weight of the establishment attempting to quash Trump as an unwelcome messenger is anybody’s guess at this time.”  The column explores the historical similarities, as they were apparent in Trump’s case at the time, between himself and his movement and Hitler’s, and the differences as well.
 
Click here for the full article.
 
Source: The Greanville Post

Saving Our Youth: Gang Alternatives Program (GAP)

 Juan Torres, M. P. A.
GAP Executive Director


Gangfree.org was developed by the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides services and programs to promote a gangfree lifestyle to young people and their families.

Every day, GAP’s positive impact is felt by thousands of people in multiple communities in and around the Los Angeles area – from Watts to Wilmington, Lennox to Lomita, El Sereno to San Pedro, and Harbor City to Boyle Heights. By introducing Gangfree.org, GAP can expand its support to countless young people throughout the nation.

Our Gangfree Vision:
 
To prevent young people from joining gangs.
Our Gangfree Mission:
 
To eliminate the base of gang membership by having a generation of young people say, “no” to gangs and “yes” to positive lifestyle choices.

Click here for more information on the program. 

Source: http://www.gangfree.org

Trailblazers in Black History: Jelly Roll Morton


Born on October 20, 1890 (some sources say 1885), in New Orleans, Louisiana, Jelly Roll Morton cut his teeth as a pianist in his hometown's bordellos. An early innovator in the jazz genre, he rose to fame as the leader of Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers in the 1920s. A series of interviews for the Library of Congress rekindled interest in his music shortly before his death, on July 10, 1941, in Los Angeles, California.

Additional information is available here

Source: Biography.com

Black Troops More Likely to Face Military Punishment Than Whites, New Report Says


Black service members are significantly more likely to face military punishment than their white colleagues, according to a new report that alleges rampant racial bias in the military.

The non-profit advocacy group Protect Our Defenders sifted through almost a decade’s worth of government data obtained via Freedom of Information Act looking for clear disparities in the judicial treatment of white and black military personnel.

"The data shows that, for every year reported and across all service branches, black service members were substantially more likely than white service members to face military justice or disciplinary action, and these disparities failed to improve or even increased in recent years," the report stated.

"Depending on the service and type of disciplinary or justice action, black service members were at least 1.29 times and as much as 2.61 times more likely than white service members to have an action taken against them in an average year," according to the report. 

Click here for the full article.

Black Lives Matter Activist Starts Hunger Strike for Suicide Awareness

A Georgia pastor is going on a hunger strike to raise awareness on the suicide epidemic and it's connection to religion.

Jomo K. Johnson, pastor and co-founder of Black Lives Matter Savannah, began his hunger strike on June 6, the one year anniversary of the death of Kalief Browder, a teen who spent nearly three years in solitary confinement and later committed suicide.

Drinking only water for a minimum of 30 days, Johnson will post an update and encouraging message on Facebook each night. He says he will end the hunger strike when he feels enough awareness has been raised or his body forces him to yield.

“We want to give more attention to mental health—especially those coming out of prison and [the] LGBTQ community. I believed this was a method to talk about death on a regular basis,” said Johnson. 

Click here for the full article. 

Could the Stress of a Trump Presidency Make Americans Sick?



Donald Trump’s presidency could make Americans sicker — and not just from the stress of his polarizing politics, a pair of Harvard experts argued Wednesday. 

His administration’s proposed cuts to health and well-being programs could also hurt the population's health, if history is anything to go by, they said.

The bad effects could last well into the next generation, because some of the most strongly documented fallout hits pregnant women, whose babies go on to suffer lifetime consequences when mothers suffer physical and psychological stress, the two experts said. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

Alleged NSA Leaker Reality Winner's Mom Fears 'Something Bad' Will Happen to Her


Burr Asks Comey: Was Trump Trying to Obstruct Justice?


Congress Rolls Over for Predatory Lenders


The following was submitted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). 

This week the U.S. House of Representatives will likely vote on a bill that would strip away safeguards needed to stop predatory lenders from trapping low-income people in an endless cycle of poverty and debt.

The House is expected to pass this outrageous legislation.

But that doesn’t mean the fight is over. We’re monitoring this bill as it moves through Congress and will need your help.

The Financial CHOICE Act eliminates vital consumer protections in the Dodd-Frank law that was enacted after the 2008 financial crisis sent the country spiraling into one of the worst recessions ever.

Tucked inside the bill is a provision that short-circuits pending rules needed to rein in lenders who offer payday and car title loans. It even prohibits the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from ever regulating this industry.

These loans trap millions of poor people across America in a nightmare of debt. Often, they’re people who just need a little money to buy food or pay a water bill. In some states, lenders get away with anything and are allowed to charge crippling interest rates – like in Alabama, where interest on a payday loan is 456%. 

Last year many of you submitted comments to the CFPB about these payday practices and urged the agency to enact commonsense regulations to protect the most vulnerable consumers. Now, the Financial CHOICE Act would prohibit the CFPB from regulating payday lenders. It’s a giveaway to an industry that profits from the desperation of the poorest Americans.

We’re not going to give up on this and neither should you. 

Read more about the CHOICE Act and its implications for low-income communities, and get ready to take action with us against this bill.

The fight isn’t over yet.

Bangladesh: Rohingya Migrant Crisis


Source: euronews (in English)

Britain Votes After Hotly Contested Election Race


Source: euronews (in English)

North Korea Conducts Multiple Missile Test


Source: euronews (in English)

Death Toll in London Attack Rises to Eight


Source: euronews (in English)

EU Reveals Plans for Unified Military and Defence Strategy


Source: euronews (in English)

A Portfolio of Problems for New UK Government


Source: euronews (in English)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

President Trump Gives Remarks on His Infrastructure Initiative


This video was published on YouTube on June 7.

President Trump Meets with House and Senate Leadership


This video was published on June 6.

Vice President Pence Delivers Remarks at the 2017 Astronaut Selection Announcement


This video was published on YouTube on June 7. 

Senators Express Frustration Over National Security Officials' Answers on Russia Probe


Senators Angus King and Mark Warner express frustration with senior national security officials over their answers to questions on their conversations with the president on the Russia probe. While not invoking executive privilege, Directors Coats and Rogers both say it would be inappropriate to characterize or comment on their private conversations with the president of the United States where classified information was discussed. 

Source: C-SPAN

Muslims in the U.S.


Muslim Advocates President and Executive Director Farhana Khera talked about President Trump’s proposed travel ban the environment for Muslims in the United States. Topics included the recent Portland, Oregon, commuter train attack against a Muslim girl and her friend in which two men who tried to protect the girls were killed and a third man seriously injured; her organization; Muslim Advocates; and the courts' rulings on the president’s travel ban. 

Source: C-SPAN

Transportation Secretary Questioned on Air Traffic Control Privatization


Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker says the president's privatization plan for the nation's air traffic control system "is a tough sell" in states like his, where small airports are common. "The sale needs to be made, and it needs to be made convincingly," he says. Secretary Elaine Chao responds that the plan will help reduce fees for general aviation, adding that she is concerned about the potential impact on rural America.

Source: C-SPAN

Ukrainian American Catholics Mourn Cardinal Lubomyr Husar's Passing


New York, NY (UCCA) - The funeral of the former head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) took place on June 5, 2017 at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv. His Beatitude, Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, had served as the titular head of more than 4.5 million faithful from 2001 to 2011. 

Under his leadership, the UGCC, the largest of the sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches, transferred its Metropolitanate seat from Lviv to Kyiv, and conducted the largest number of synods in the church’s history. In 2005, Cardinal Husar became the first Ukrainian Greek Catholic ever to participate in a papal conclave convened to elect a new pope.

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the nation’s largest representative body of Americans of Ukrainian descent, has issued a statement expressing its deep sorrow at the passing of a fellow Ukrainian American, a unique spiritual leader and one of the most respected public intellectuals ever to come from Ukraine.

In the statement, the UCCA recalled His Beatitude’s “American roots,” from a youth spent at Ukrainian American campgrounds, to his days as a community pastor in the Catskills, and his repeated visits as Bishop, Archbishop and eventually Patriarch of Ukrainian Catholics around the world. 

Most notably, he helped the UCCA champion for a National Monument dedicated to the victims of the Holodomor Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932–1933 in Washington D.C., and at the UCCA’s 19th Congress of Ukrainians of America, representing diaspora organizations and leadership from across the United States, Cardinal Husar called upon the delegates and guests to work towards uniting throughout his adopted homeland, remarking that, "The years have shown us that in unity there is strength." 

May His Memory Be Eternal!

Source: The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA)

Stedman Step-Up Scholar for 2017 Named

 
The following statement was submitted by David Liners, State Director at WISDOM.

June 5 marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of our dear friend, colleague and inspiration, John Stedman.  John was an outstanding community organizer and a man of deep religious faith. John not only overcame the demon of addiction, but he turned his struggle into his greatest strength as he exuded hope and life.

To honor John's memory, scores of people made donations, large and small, to the Stedman Step-Up Fund. The fund was established to pay the way each year for a Wisconsin person in recovery from addiction to participate in the Weeklong Leadership Training of the Gamaliel network.

The second recipient of the Stedman Step-Up Scholarship was announced last night, as the Chippewa Valley EXPO (EX-Prisoners Organizing) chapter - which John helped to establish - held its first-ever fundraiser.

Congratulations to Stacey Acuna, who will be attending the week-long training that begins on June 25. Stacey has shown commitment and dedication to growing the Chippewa Valley EXPO chapter since she joined in the fall of 2016.  She has also been active in attending both JONAH and WISDOM meetings and trainings.  She has recently taken on the role of local EXPO chair, and is participating in WISDOM's Race and Diversity planning team.


In 2018, Stacey will join Sarah Ferber (last year's Stedman Scholar) and Sharon Stedman (John's wife) to choose the next recipient.

As always, if you’d like to support EXPO or any of WISDOM’s projects, you can click here.

Seeds of Fortune: Nitiya Walker

 
This video was published on YouTube on June 7, 2017. 

Daren Jaime sits down with the Seeds of Fortune Founder Nitiya Walker to discuss the organization along with the upcoming "Seed to Bloom Gala" event.

Source: BronxNet

The 'I Am Woman' Series: Angela Bassett


Actress Angela Bassett talks about her roles in the movies 'Black Panther' and 'Mission Impossible 6,' her families’ history with diabetes and how her mom’s role in her career.

Trailblazers in Black History: The Five Satins


The Five Satins are best known for the doo wop classic "In the Still of the Night," a song that was popular enough to make the group one of the most famous doo wop outfits, although they never had another hit of the same magnitude.
 
The origins of the Five Satins lie in the Scarlets, a New Haven, CT, doo wop group led by Fred Parris. The Scarlets formed in 1953, while Parris was still in high school. The group had a local hit with "Dear One" the following year. In 1954, Parris formed the Five Satins with vocalists Al Denby, Ed Martin, and Jim Freeman. Within the next year, Parris had the group record "In the Still of the Night," a song he had recently written in the basement of a local church. The first single the group released was "In the Still of the Night." The single was released on Standard Records in the spring of 1956. By the end of the year, it had been leased to Ember and became a huge hit, peaking at number three on the R&B charts and number 25 on the pop charts. 

Additional information is available here

Source: http://www.billboard.com

Texas Democratic Rep. Al Green to Start Process to Impeach Trump

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, said Tuesday he plans to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday despite what he says have been multiple death threats.

Green, who plans to make a formal announcement on Wednesday, has maintained that Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey on May 9 constituted obstruction of justice.

"The facts are simple and indisputable," Green said Tuesday in a statement. "The president fired the FBI director because the director was investigating the president's campaign connections to Russian interference in the presidential election."

Green said Comey's anticipated congressional testimony on Thursday is immaterial — the president's behavior, not Comey's, is the issue.

"This will remain obstruction of justice regardless of the findings of any investigation," he said. 

Click here for the full article. 

Andrea Constand Testifies in Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Trial


Philando Castile Killing: Girlfriend Testifies She Began FB Live Because Feared for Her Life

The girlfriend of Philando Castile, a black man fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in Minnesota last year, brushed away tears Tuesday as she testified about the moments leading up to his death.

Diamond Reynolds, who streamed Castile’s death on Facebook Live, told a packed courtroom that she felt she had to record the encounter with St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez out of fear for her own life. 

"Because I know that the people are not protected by police,” Reynolds said, according to NBC-affiliate KARE 11, which had a reporter in the courtroom. "I wanted to make sure if I was to die in front of my daughter, someone would know the truth.” 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

James Clapper: ‘Watergate Pales’ in Comparison to Russia Allegations


“The Russians are not our friends,” said the former director of national intelligence, describing a “very sophisticated campaign” that was “against Hillary Clinton and for Donald Trump.”

Trump Says He'll Nominate Christopher Wray as Nw FBI Director


OMH Dedicates $1.25 Million for Creation of New Clinic-Based Intensive Outpatient Treatment

 
ALBANY, NY – The New York State Office of Mental Health today announced the availability of up to $1.25 million to help mental health clinics create a new intensive level of outpatient service that will increase clinic-based treatment options for people with psychiatric disabilities.

The new Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) level of service will provide a concentrated treatment option for community-based services across New York State. This intensive level of service will give individuals with psychiatric disabilities access to focused and flexible treatment in clinic-based settings, helping to reduce inpatient admissions to psychiatric centers.

“While inpatient treatment will always be available for individuals who require that level of care, research has shown that people with behavioral health concerns actually do better when treated in community-based settings, where they have access to their support systems,” said Office of Mental Health Commissioner, Dr. Ann Sullivan. “We wanted to find a way to offer the more focused, intensive community treatment options, without needing to uproot these individuals from their homes. This intensive level of service is one solution.”

In order to facilitate the creation of IOP level of services, the Office of Mental Health (OMH) will provide a one-time, $25,000 grant to up to 50 licensed clinics that have met the requirements outlined in the issued guidance document. OMH will make these funds available for the next six months in order to spur the startup of this new level of service, and anticipates that IOPs will be operational within three months across all regions of New York.

An IOP level of service differs from standard clinic outpatient visits in its frequency and length of visits. Patients may be seen for two or more hours in a day and visits may occur between two to four times per week. Core elements of an IOP level of service may include problem-solving therapy, family support when appropriate, and psychiatrist medication visits in order to rapidly stabilize a patient.

"We anticipate the majority of OMH-licensed providers will want to create this level of service within their program," said Dr. Christopher Tavella, Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Quality Management for the New York State Office of Mental Health. "It will take some time for each of these providers to develop their own plans and models of treatment, but if just 50 of our providers establish IOPs, up to 3,000 individuals can be served each year."

Each provider creating an IOP level of service can decide to develop a specific program or use the service options on a case-by-case basis, to allow for maximum flexibility.  OMH has included three examples of potential program designs to facilitate development, should agencies decide to develop a specific track within their current clinic structure:

Individual Modality Model:


Best for individuals already engaged in a clinic setting who are experiencing a worsening of symptoms that would require a referral to an inpatient setting without IOP level of services.
 
Treatment would focus on inter-personal and situational problem solving and crisis management. 

A critical component to this model is linking the individual to care coordination, mobile crisis intervention, and other wrap-around services to bridge the gap between the daily visits to the clinic.


Group Modality Model:

Best for individuals transitioning out of an inpatient setting back into the community.


Treatment would focus on problem-solving and management of the daily challenges of individuals during a transitional phase to more independent living.


Hybrid Model:

A combination of the individual modality model, the family modality model and individual services.

“We applaud the NYS Office of Mental Health for this new initiative. We know from the many years of experience of the Mental Health Associations across New York State that individuals with mental illness do better when they have appropriate supports in the community,” said Glenn Liebman, CEO of the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. “Creating flexibility within the new Clinic Based Intensive Treatment will allow for individuals to get more appropriate outpatient services that will help them live successfully in the community and not in inpatient settings.”

"Intensive Outpatient Programs are critical components of a patient-centered, value-based system of care for people with mental illness.Intensive Outpatient Programs and Partial Hospital Programs are crucial to a successful behavioral health crisis response system, as well as a robust outpatient treatment platform,” said Dr. Sabina Lim, Vice President of Behavioral Health at Mount Sinai Health System. “When delivered as a highly structured, evidence-based, and goals-focused intensive treatment modality, IOP's can help improve clinical outcomes and decrease acute care utilization rates.  The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has developed a very flexible and progressive design for IOP services.  I thank OMH for their leadership and thoughtful guidance, and look forward to implementing these programs in the Mount Sinai Health System." 

Source: The New York State Office of Mental Health

Aging Services Professionals Share Key Innovations that Help Older New Yorkers, Families, Communities, and the Economy



(Albany, NY)—The network of aging services professionals and service providers are convening today and tomorrow in Albany for the 22nd annual Aging Concerns Unite Us (ACUU) conference, which presents 35 training workshops on replicable good practices in innovative programs and service delivery to help older New Yorkers, families, and people of all ages with disabilities live with dignity and autonomy in their homes and communities of choice.

The conference’s opening session by Marty Bell, executive director of the National Aging in Place Council, features communities that are proactively changing through redesign and future-based planning to help older adults successfully age in place. Bell’s presentation highlights dozens of innovative approaches being implemented all over the country that will challenge what it means to be age friendly.

Keynote speaker, Tom Kamber, PhD, is an award-winning social entrepreneur, educator, and activist who has created new initiatives in aging, technology, affordable housing, and the arts, and is founding executive director of Older Adults Technology Services (OATS). Since 2004, Kamber and his team have helped more than 35,000 older New Yorkers through the creation of one of the nation’s most powerful and successful models to harness technology to change the way we age.

This year’s conference also offers a variety of replicable practices and innovations from across the state’s aging services network including workshops on advocacy, aging in place, partnerships with disabilities organizations, no wrong door, the aging mastery program, scams, telehealth, caregiving, and promoting healthy aging and age-friendly models, among others.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2017 State of the State laid out a comprehensive plan to advance a “Health Across All Policies” approach to incorporate health considerations into policies, programs, and initiatives led by non-health agencies. This includes making New York the first age friendly/livable state in the nation as defined by the World Health Organization/AARP 8 domains of livability.

The Governor’s “Health Across all Policies” approach systematically takes into account the health and health system implications of decisions; seeks synergies; and avoids harmful health impacts in order to improve population health and health equity.

New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, “The value of older adults to their families and communities is undeniable. This conference is another important step toward realizing Governor Cuomo’s vision to create the first age-friendly state in the nation and provide communities ideas and options to improve their level of livability for people of all ages. Age friendly communities are vibrant and in demand, and benefit the individual, the family, the community, and the economy.”

Michael Romano, President of the Association on Aging New York and Director of the Oneida County Office for the Aging said, “That we have outstanding participation again this year, with more 450 registrants, speaks to the value of ACUU for a growing group of professionals who serve an ever-expanding population of older New Yorkers. The annual conference continues to be valuable resource for all who provide community-based long-term services and supports for older adults. There is a great deal of new information the aging services network must continually learn and retain in order to provide quality services at the local level, and ACUU has always been vital in meeting this requirement.”

The ACUU conference is a collaborative professional development event for New York’s 59 county-based area agencies on aging (AAA) and close to 1,200 community-based service providers, and attracts professionals from the community-based long-term services and supports sector, senior centers, adult day services programs, caregiver programs, transportation service providers, nutrition services programs, geriatric mental health programs, consumer directed programs, individuals with disabilities programs, and health care professionals, among others. 

Source: The New York State Office for the Aging

Governor Cuomo, Protect Medicaid Patients Who Need Topical Oxygen Wound Therapy

 
What You Should Know
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District

You should know that the New York State Department of Health is attempting to exclude Topical Oxygen Wound Therapy for Medicaid patients, and on behalf of these Medicaid patients, I am calling upon Governor Andrew Cuomo, who oversees the Department of Health, to stand by his decree that “healthcare is a human right” and permit this therapy to continue for the poor and the needy.

It is important for you to know that Topical Oxygen Wound Therapy is a safe and effective treatment for patients suffering from chronic, open wounds that come from diseases like diabetes, and have not responded to other forms of therapy.  

For several years, I have met with Medicaid patients who use Topical Oxygen Wound Therapy because it helps to prevent amputations.

You should know that New York State’s Medicaid patients who need this treatment are overwhelmingly low income Black and Hispanic people, and more of these patients live in the 32nd Senatorial District in the Bronx than in any other part of the State of New York.

This means the New York State Health Department’s decision, which are overseen by our beloved Governor Andrew Cuomo, affects me personally because it affects the people I directly represent and care about deeply.

Topical Oxygen Wound Therapy treatment is proven effective and New Yorkers like those in my district cannot afford to lose access to it. It is imperative that the State of New York does not deny our Medicaid patients the treatment they need and already receive.

My colleagues in the New York State Legislature and I have been fighting to make sure the State covers Topical Oxygen Wound Therapy treatment. We in the Senate have even passed the bill.

I’m asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to step in and do whatever it takes to protect our vulnerable Medicaid patients who rely upon Topical Oxygen Wound Therapy, because their healthcare is a human right, too.

I am State Senator Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.

Dan Lynch, Longtime Upstate New York Journalist, Dies at 71


By Associated Press

A former New York journalist who spent most of his decades-long newspaper, radio and television career in Albany has died. Dan Lynch was 71.

Kelly Lynch tells the Times Union of Albany that her father died Sunday at a hospice in Delray Beach, Florida, after battling lung cancer.

Dan Lynch was born in Elmira and grew up there and in New Jersey. He graduated in 1969 from Temple University in Philadelphia, where he worked as a political writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer before moving on to Long Island's Newsday.

Lynch was hired as a managing editor at the Times Union in 1979. He stepped down as managing editor for news in 1995 to become a full-time columnist. Lynch later left the newspaper and moved to Florida.

Services will be private.

Source: FOX NEWS U.S. (via The Empire Report) 

From The G-Man and The G-Man Interviews offer condolences to Mr. Lynch's family, friends and colleagues. May he forever rest in peace.   

Rochester Judge Will Return to Work, Keep $173K Salary, After Serving Jail Time



Convicted Rochester City Court Judge Leticia Astacio will keep her job once she gets out of jail, despite having recently missed a court date and declining a plea deal offered to her by a colleague.

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported that Astacio was told by her supervisors Judge Craig Doran and Judge Teresa Johnson that she will be required to conduct research at the courthouse law library from Monday through Friday during court hours.

"Her presence there will certainly be monitored and we'll know whether or not she is fulfilling those obligations," Doran told the D&C.

It's unclear, however, when those duties will commence, as Astacio is now facing jail time following her arrest at the court house on Monday.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: newyorkupstate.com (via The Empire Report) 

Blues Seek 48.8 Percent Hike for Individual Plans on State Exchange


Those who buy health plans through New York State's insurance marketplace will face extremes next time they shop – steep double-digit increases next year in some cases and modest price changes in others.

One major insurer – BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York – seeks an average 48.8 percent increase in 2018 for individual health plans sold on the state's health insurance exchange, as well as those purchased directly from insurers. But another, Univera Healthcare, looks for an average increase of only 4.4 percent for its individual plans.

Insurance companies here and elsewhere say rising medical and drug costs are pushing up premiums. But insurers also attribute the larger increases to government fees, taxes and policies.

The rate requests filed with the state Department of Financial Services apply to private health plans that individuals buy and also plans for small groups of 100 or fewer people. The plans cover about 15,000 people in the eight-county Western New York region with individual policies, and 128,000 people insured in small groups. The requests do not apply to health plans for larger groups, self-insured groups, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, or the state's Essential Plan. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Buffalo News (via The Empire Report)

US House Calls for Criminal Charges Against Erdogan Bodyguards


Source: euronews (in English)