Thursday, November 15, 2018

New York City gets hit by the first snowstorm of the season

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New York, NY - New York City was hit by the first snow of the season on November 15, 2018 around noon, bringing a hodge-podge wintry conditions. 
The city’s emergency management service advised New Yorkers to be aware of slippery conditions, also issued a travel advisory for Thursday particularly during the evening commute.
The city is expected to receive between one to two inches of snow, which will turn into freezing rain as the evening progresses. The rain is only expected to let off sometime Friday afternoon. 
The National Weather Service has also issued winter weather and coastal flood advisories, and expects that the Bronx will get the most amount of snow in the city.

NYC gets first snowstorm of the season

#BowlingGreen #bull #cityscape #FearlessGirl #manhattan #monument #MTA #NewYork #NewYorkCity #NorEaster #NYC #NYCSubway #snow #SnowCovered #snowday #snowstorm #streetphotography #WallStreet #WinterStorm

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Community groups, residents and elected officials say NO to the billions of dollars in subsidies for Amazon to locate to NYC

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Queens, NY - Labor groups, community groups, residents and elected officials gathered together on November 14, 2018 at Gordan Triangle in Long Island City, to say NO to the billions of dollars in subsidies for Amazon to locate to NYC. 
The richest Company in the world shouldn’t require over $1 billion in taxpayer dollars to come to New York - a city they need more than we need them – robbing state funding for our schools, transit and housing.
While our city faces a crisis of affordability and a deteriorating transit system, the last thing we should be doing is giving away billions of dollars of tax payer money to one of the largest corporation in the world. 
Senator Michael Gianaris, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, NY elected officials, The Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), ALIGN NY, Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change, and other local groups will stand at the proposed site of the new Amazon HQ2 to speak out against the over $1 Billion in taxpayer subsided the richest corporation in the world will be receiving to set up shop in NYC, saying #NoAmazonNYC.
“New York deserves better than the deal that was struck to lure Amazon here. Its hard to believe that we are giving as much as $1 billion dollars to one of the wealthiest and largest companies in history.  This was an opportunity to create good jobs in a way that benefits the city and workers. We should be demanding that Amazon respects its workforce by allowing them to exercise their right to freely associate. We should be demanding that they give back to the community and not drain public resources. Instead we got played.  Amazon can afford to come here without handouts. Its embarrassing to think that such a great city would need to beg them to come. They are coming here because they need to come here - because we offer so much. Tax payers shouldn’t be on the hook to help Amazon be profitable – it’s a massively profitable private business. New York, we can and should do better,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). 
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) represents 100,000 members throughout the United States, including 45,000 in New York State. The RWDSU is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW).   

Rally Against Amazon in New York City

#Activism #Amazon #AmazonHQ2 #CommunitiesFightBack #CommunityOrganizations #CorporateGreed #CorporateWelfare #DefendPeoplePower #demonstration #DirectAction #displacement #ElectedOfficials #Gentrification #HQ2scam #JeffBezos #Labor #LaborRights #LIC #NewYork #NoAmazonNYC #NYC #opposition #PeacefulProtest #PeacefulResistance #politics #Queens #rally #RWDSU #streetphotography

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Friday, November 9, 2018

Advocates and Elected Officials Call on MTA to Add Much-Needed Elevator to 7th Ave F/G Station to Finally Make it Accessible to All

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Brooklyn, NY - Today, NYC Council Member Brad Lander, Assembly Member Robert Carroll, disability rights advocates, Park Slope seniors & families, and community members joined to call on the MTA to add the 7th Ave F/G subway station in Park Slope to the list of subway stations to be upgraded with elevators as a part of its Fast Forward plan, a list the MTA is expected to soon release.
The 7th Ave F/G Station is situated just a few blocks from Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and the senior center Park Slope Center for Successful Aging, two populations that especially need accessible transit. The surrounding area contains a large number of families with young children & strollers as well as residents with mobility impairments who struggle to navigate a subway station without an accessible entrance. Currently, there are no stations with elevators between Jay Street MetroTech and Church Ave on the F/G line. The 7th Ave Station falls right in the middle of these stations, which adds to the call for an elevator at this location.
According to a study completed by The Guardian, only 20% of NYC subway stations are fully accessible. The Fast Forward plan’s Accelerate Accessibility portion calls for 50+ new accessible stations within 5 years, so all subway riders are no more than two stops from an accessible station. The list of stations to be upgraded will soon be released.
“We in Park Slope have been calling for an elevator to be added to the 7th Ave subway station for years, and now that we know that the MTA will soon be releasing their list of stations to be upgraded with elevators, it is more important than ever for our community to be heard,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “The state of accessibility of our subway system is a travesty. I’m glad to see Andy Byford prioritizing accessibility of stations in his Fast Forward plan, but the MTA must include the 7th Ave station in any plans for accessibility upgrades. Right now, patients of Brooklyn Methodist hospital have no accessible subway option. People with disabilities, seniors, and families with young children in Park Slope have no accessible subway option. This has got to change, which is why we urge the MTA to include the 7th Ave station in their plan for accessibility upgrades.” 
“Installing an elevator at the 7th Avenue station on the F line is long overdue,” said Assembly Member Robert Carroll. “An elevator will ensure people with disabilities, seniors, and parents with children have easier access to our subways and better serve the thousands of people who utilize this station on a daily basis. It is unacceptable that the nearest accessible train station is three stops to the South at Church Avenue and the next closest is five stops to the North at Jay Street.  While Andy Byford’s Fast Forward plan identifies the need for accessibility, it does not specify where and when stations will be upgraded.  7th Avenue is a critical hub in Brooklyn and deserves to be at the top of list for station accessibility improvements.”
"As a wheelchair user working with other people with disabilities, we demand rapid, on-demand transportation to go work, to school, and to participate in social activities, just like what's available to other New Yorkers,” said Monica Bartley, community outreach organizer with Center for the Independence of the Disabled. “In order to make sure that we get what federal laws promise, we need to see a reasonable timeline for subway accessibility that includes a clear plan, enforceable budget, and a line of accountability so that we can be confident that these promises will finally be kept."
“The MTA must address their failure to comply with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990) as well as the simple economic imperative that people with disabilities are taxpayers,” said Rebecca Kostyuchenko of the Elevator Action Group at Rise and Resist. “Wheelchair users are taxpayers. New Yorkers over 65 are taxpayers. Parents and caregivers who need to maneuver the subway are taxpayers. Delivery people are taxpayers. All these people ride the subway and need access to working elevators.
“New York City is currently home to nearly 1.5 million people over the age of 60 and nearly 30% of them live in Brooklyn,” said Judy Willig, Executive Director of Heights and Hills. “As Baby Boomers are aging, one in five New Yorkers will be over the age of 60 by 2040.  If New York City truly wants to be an  “age-friendly” city, we have to more aggressively address those environmental factors that are keeping older people from fully engaging with all that this City has to offer.  Transportation accessibility is one of the biggest impediments to the independence of older residents.  The Seventh Avenue subway station, in particular, is the access point to NYP Methodist Hospital, to the Park Slope Center for Successful Aging, to Prospect Park and all that it has to offer, and currently all of the steps that one has to climb makes it inaccessible to far too many people.”
“More than 9% of the population of Park Slope and Gowanus are aged 65 and over,” said Jasmine Meltzer of Good Neighbors Park Slope. “Two years ago we stood here asking for accessible subway stations in Park Slope. We were not a part of the decision-making process in 2010 that went into that list of 100 stations to be made accessible and we now want to ensure that we are included on their next list. Accessible stations help everyone — senior citizens, those with disabilities, people struggling with crutches and parents juggling strollers and children.”
“The strong neighborhood support for accessibility at 7th Avenue shows not only real need for elevators here, but also how relentlessly frustrating the lack of subway accessibility is in Brooklyn and across the city,” said Colin Wright, advocacy associate at TransitCenter, a national transit research and advocacy foundation. “As New York City Transit chooses which stations to make accessible first under Fast Forward, ones that serve hospitals, schools, busy commercial strips, and even an amazing park are great places to start.”
Any opportunity to press for another elevator in the widely inaccessible NYC subway system is a must. The Elevator Action Group is a coalition of concerned New Yorkers and activists moving to push wheelchair accessibility in the subways to the top of the MTA agenda. 


Press conference to add elevator to 7th Ave F/G station

#AccessARide #AccessDenied #Accessibility #Activism #ADAcompliant #AndyByford #BradLander #BrokenElevators #CIDNY #CIDNYfightsback #CuomosMTA #Disability #DisabilityRightsAdvocates #discapacity #ElectedOfficials #ElevatorFail #Elevators #FastForwardPlan #FixOurSubway #GovernorCuomo #LetUsRide #MTA #NewYork #NoElevator #NYC #NYCSubway #NYCTransit #ParkSlope #PeoplesMTA #PressConference #RiseAndResist #RobertCarroll #StrandedByCuomo #straphangers #SubwayStation #TransitCenter 

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Thousands of NYC Activists took to the streets to denounce new acting Attorney General's conflict of interest and to support Muller investigation

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NEW YORK, NY — Thousands of New Yorkers joined a coalition of grassroots organizations in New York City in a massive demonstration on November 8, 2018 in Times Square to denounce new acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker may have a conflict of interest and must not oversee the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election and related crimes by Trump campaign officials and associates. 
Trump’s decision to install a loyalist Attorney General Matthew Whitaker who has openly denigrated the Mueller investigation is a deliberate attempt to obstruct the Special Counsel’s investigation, which has already produced dozens of indictments and convictions in its effort to uncover whether there was coordination between the President and the Russian government during the 2016 election campaign. Trump’s attempt to obstruct the investigation represents a constitutional crisis.
New Yorkers will gather at Times Square this evening to demand Congress hold the President accountable and remind President Trump that he is not above the law. The President may have fired the Attorney General, but he can’t fire the truth.
“Donald Trump may attempt to install cronies to interfere in the Mueller investigation and subvert the rule of law, but the Constitution is stronger than Donald Trump, democracy is stronger than Donald Trump, and the people are stronger than Donald Trump,” said Andy Ratto, a member of Rise and Resist, and one of the protest organizers. “We will be out in the streets fighting back until we stop him.”
“The timing here is not a coincidence,” said Shannon Stagman, a member of Empire State Indivisible. “Donald Trump acted while we were still embroiled in midterm elections because he wanted to catch us off guard. But we’re always ready to rise up and defend the rule of law.”
Activists gathered in Times Square, continued marching down 7th Avenue and 14th Street to Union Square, where speakers and musicians took stage from 6:45 till 8:00pm.

These are the demands:

  • The Nobody Is Above the Law coalition demands that Whitaker immediately commit not to assume supervision of the investigation;
  • We demand that the independent investigation continue under the Special Counsel’s office;
  • We demand that the House Judiciary Committee immediately begin hearings into abuse of power and obstruction of justice by President Trump;
  • We demand that the Senate create a Watergate-type Select Committee to conduct a broad investigation of the Russia scandals and of Trump’s obstruction of the criminal investigation into these matters. 

Thousands march in support of Muller investigation

#Activism #collusion #ConflictOfInterest #corruption #DefendDemocracy #demonstration #DirectAction #DumpTrump #FBI #FBIDirector #GOP #HandsOffMueller #impeachment #ImpeachTrump #Investigation #MatthewWhitaker #NewYork #NotMyPresident #NYC #politics #Protest #ResistTrump #RobertMueller #Russia #SpecialCounsel #TimesSquare

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Monday, November 5, 2018

Public hearing on the Raritan Bay pipeline and Williams 206 compressor station proposal

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Somerset, NJ - The NJ Department of Environmental Protection announced their only public hearing so far on the NESE compressor station and gas pipeline proposal on November 5, 2018, giving the community an opportunity to express their concerns on the Raritan Bay pipeline and compressor station proposal. 
Prior to the hearing, in the cafeteria of Franklin High School a short rally was held with elected officials, impacted residents, and environmental groups to learn about the dangers posed to the health and safety of residents, visitors, wildlife, and the environment from emitted toxic gas, noise, potential fires, and explosion. 
Community efforts have helped delay the pipeline project by more than a year, and the demands for a public hearing on the pipeline proposal have been finally  met. 
Williams Transco is proposing to build a 32,000 Horsepower compressor station (gas engine) that could affect the air of South Brunswick, Franklin, and Princeton area residents. 
The proposal also includes 23 miles of pipeline through the Raritan Bay which will impact sensitive marine life, tourism, and unleash trapped heavy metals currently in the Bayshore floor into the water. 

Public hearing on Williams 206 compressor station proposal

#Activism #ActOnClimate #cleanenergy #ClimateChange #ClimateCrisis #climatejustice #CommunitiesFightBack #CommunityOrganizations #CompressorStation #EnergyDemocracy #energyefficiency #EnergyIndependence #FoodAndWaterWatch #FossilFree #Fracking #infrackstructure #KeepItIntheGround #MakePollutersPay #NewJersey #NJDEP #NoPipelines #NRDC #OffFossilFuels #PublicHearing #RenewableEnergy #SacrificeZone #SaneEnergyProject #SaneSolutions #StopNESE #StopWilliams #wetlands‬ #WilliamsTransCO #YOUAREHERE

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963

Friday, November 2, 2018

New Yorkers ramp up pressure on Governor Cuomo to stop the Williams Pipeline

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New York, NY - New Yorkers took direct action outside Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York City office on November 2, 2018 sending a clear message: Be a real climate leader and stop the Williams NESE Pipeline. Dozens of activists rallied before dropping a 25-foot banner across the street, and delivering a letter opposing the pipeline signed by 211 New York organizations. 


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“If Cuomo is at all serious about addressing the growing climate crisis, he must reject the Williams fracked gas pipeline,” Alex Beauchamp, Northeast Region Director, Food & Water Watch. “Today, New Yorkers sent a strong signal to the governor – we’re sick of his empty rhetoric on climate change. It’s time for him to take bold action, and that starts by rejecting this dangerous pipeline.”



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The Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline is proposed construction of a 23-mile pipeline extension from New Jersey, cutting through the waters of New York along the Staten Island coast, past Coney Island and into the Rockaways. 



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Participants of today’s action include representatives from New York Communities for Change, Sane Energy Project, Food & Water Watch, 350Brooklyn, Stop the Williams Pipeline Coalition, 350.org, Fossil Free, TK TK, and more.



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“Six years after Superstorm Sandy hit, this fracked gas pipeline threatens the very communities most impacted and still recovering from that devastating storm,” said Kim Fraczek with Sane Energy Project. “With UN reports warning that we have just over a decade for meaningful action on climate, we need Governor Cuomo to be a real climate leader and stop fossil fuel projects like the Williams Pipeline.”



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Over the last two months, a series of investigative reports published by WNYC and Capital & Main revealed potentially egregious conflicts of interest between high-level officials in Albany and the Williams Pipeline Company. One found that found that former CIO Vicki Fuller left her position at New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office in July, immediately assumed a director position with Williams Pipeline Company, and increased investments in the company by $80 million even as its stock dropped.  



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In September, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced his opposition to the Williams Pipeline, recognizing it as a “monumental step backwards.” Numerous elected officials are joining in a growing opposition letter. Across New York State, pressure is mounting for Governor Cuomo to make New York a model for a just transition to 100% renewable energy and ending all fossil fuel projects, especially fracked gas infrastructure. 



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In April, 2,000 people marched through Albany and 55 were arrested while sitting-in at the Governor’s office. In September, 3,000 people marched through Lower Manhattan for Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice, and seven people were arrested the next day after blocking the intersection outside Governor Cuomo’s office demanding he “Rise to the Climate Crisis.”



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“This is New York we’re talking about,” said Sara Gronim with 350Brooklyn. “With the Trump administration attacking our climate and communities, New Yorkers demand elected officials who will rise to the crisis, and put our health and safety ahead of fossil fuel interests.” 



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In addition, Andrew Cuomo appointed Maggie Moran, a lobbyist for Williams Co., as his gubernatorial re-election campaign full-time general consultant in charge of managing day-to-day operations and strategy. Moran has presented on the topic of “Natural Gas Infrastructure Advocacy” at a Williams Companies conference in May 2018.


New Yorkers urge Governor Cuomo to stop Williams Pipeline


#Activism, #ActOnClimate, #BannerDrop, #ClimateChange, #ClimateCrisis, #climatejustice, #CommunitiesFightBack, #CuomoWalkTheTalk, #DefendPeoplePower, #EnergyDemocracy, #EnergyIndependence, #environment, #FossilFree, #GovernorCuomo, #infrackstructure, #KeepItIntheGround, #MakePollutersPay, #MakeREVreal, #NewYork, #NoPipelines, #NYC, #OffFossilFuels, #RenewableEnergy, #‎Solidarity, #StopNESE, #StopWilliams, ‪#‎weareallconnected‬, #YOUAREHERE

© Erik McGregor - erikrivas@hotmail.com - 917-225-8963