Sunday, January 31, 2010

A broken system?

A Boston tourist says in an exclusive NY1 report that he is scarred for life after a New York City police officer allegedly brutalized him during an arrest last month. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

When Anthony Daly of Boston visited the city last month, he walked around normally. But his leg was broken in three places on December 27, the night he was taken into police custody at a Midtown hotel, and now doctors now say Daly may never walk the same way again. Source

Friday, January 29, 2010

Free Temporary Protected Status help

Director of External Relations
Kingsborough Community College

On Saturday, February 6 from 9:30am to 2pm, Kingsborough Community College’s New Americans Center will offer FREE hands-on help to Haitian immigrants seeking Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The U.S. government, at the urging of President Obama, offered this special status after the earthquake in Haiti to the tens of thousands of Haitians living here illegally, allowing them to stay and work in the United States for 18 months. Attorneys and legal advisers will be on-hand at Kingsborough to provide FREE and confidential services. Please bring documents for all seeking TPS including passports, photo identification cards, and any other immigration documents. The event is FREE and open to the public. B49 or B1 bus to last stop. Free parking on campus. Call 718-368-5600 for an appointment.

NYPD caught on tape

The footage is grainy but one cop can clearly be seen pulling back his leg and slamming his foot into the man, while two others land blows with their fists.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sarcastic Grilling and Combative Witness Mark Trial of Three Officers

The lawyers asked Mr. Mineo, 25, to scream as he said he did that day in October 2008, and to stand up. They told him to put his hands behind his back so jurors could see what he would have looked like while being handcuffed, and made him hold up the underwear he was wearing that day, with the hole he says was made by a police officer’s baton being rammed between his buttocks

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hope for Haiti Telethon

"Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief" drew a cumulative audience of more than 83 million viewers and a gross average audience of more than 24 million viewers in the United States, according to Nielsen Media Research. The telethon has now raised more than $61 million in donations from the general public to date. Source

Friday, January 22, 2010

More Racism from local bloggers

The ditmas park blog is promoting a smear that black men are somehow sex offenders on the prowl in Flatbush. In fact statistics show that the majority of sex crime offenders are middle age white males. As seen here on the "to catch a predator" picture gallery, the vast majority of the predators are white males. Why is the ditmas park blog pushing this propaganda & racist smear of black males as "scary predators" when the facts clearly show that the people we in Flatbush should be looking out for are middle age white males?


Beginning at 11:00 on the morning of Saturday January 30, 2010 a massive gathering of supporters will begin their march from the corner of Church and Rogers Avenues passing through the hub of Haitian-American community. The procession will culminate with an information rally and cultural expressions at the Plaza of Medgar Evers College. Organizers of the march recognize that the magnitude of this catastrophe is inconceivable and people are overwhelmed by the innumerable disaster relief initiatives. The “Haiti We Love You” rally will provide updates and connect people to local initiatives that are happening in the community. With a visible response by people in the streets, “Haiti We Love You” provides the opportunity to convey to the Haitian people that they are not alone in their struggle to rebuild and our continued prayers and support go out to them.

Free Skating at Prospect Park

Now, through March 14, here’s how to enjoy FREE admission to Brooklyn’s only outdoor skating rink at Prospect Park:

Either rent one pair of skates or make a purchase of $15 or more at the Snack Bar and receive a coupon good for one free future Rink admission.*

There’s a whole calendar full of special events, like all Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen music skating sessions. So check it all out and keep coming back to the Rink to enjoy. For more information on special events, hours, fees and directions, visit

*Offer valid any time through March 14, 2010 except Mondays January 18 & February 15.

Wollman Rink is a great place for winter fun all season long. Take lessons, throw a skating party, take a leisurely spin around the ice, and enjoy a snack and a hot chocolate.

For info on skating conditions, call (718) 287-6431 • Skating Parties (718) 287-6215 • Group Reservations (718) 287-5252

Directions: Wollman Rink is located near the Parkside and Ocean Avenue entrance to Prospect Park. Free parking is available. See our Interactive map.

Enter the Park at Lincoln Road & Ocean Ave., Parkside & Ocean Aves., or Flatbush Ave. & Empire Blvd. (Willink entrance) and follow the directional signs. By train: Q, S, or B to Prospect Park Station. By bus: B-16, B-41, B-43 and B-48 will bring you close to the Park’s Willink entrance.

For information on Prospect Park events, programs, membership and volunteering at the Park, call the Park Hotline at (718) 965-8999

or visit

Dial 311 for all Parks & Recreation information

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Full Yele Press Conference

I've been trying to get the full press conference without all the editing from the AP and other news organizations
Here it is

U2 and Jay-Z ?

Tourdates is reporting that U2 has teamed up with Jay-Z and producer Swizz Beatz to record a charity song for the victims of the Haitian earthquake. In the article Toudates said that Swizz Beatz hinted that the group could collaborate on a song to raise money for the emergency effort and this was later confirmed by U2 guitarist The Edge In an interview with Irish radio station 2FM. The musician revealed that the track was recorded last week after Beatz contacted U2 frontman Bono. "Bono came up with the phrase on the phone and last night we were here, we wrote a song, finished, recorded, and sent it back to them," he explained. The date of the single's release has not been announced, but it has been speculated that it will be played during Friday's (January 22nd) charity telethon which has been organised by actor George Clooney. Clooney's event is set to feature appearances from a range of musical stars, such as Kid Rock, Sting, Sheryl Crow and Coldplay

Downloads for Haiti

1. Paste Magazine has collaborated with artist to give free downloads in return for donations to the haitian relief efforts. As a way to raise money and keep awareness high. A diverse array of artists — Ludacris, Of Montreal, Andrew Bird, Hanson, Umphrey’s McGee, Switchfoot, Bruce Cockburn and over 200 others — have donated MP3s (many unreleased) to paste to give everyone who donates to help Haiti.

2. Rihanna stopped by this afternoon’s episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was devoted to the disaster in Haiti, to perform a cover of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” You can download her live cover now from the iTunes Music Store for $1.29, with proceeds going to the Hope for Haiti Now telethon that she and others will participate in this Friday.

3. You can also donate to download music from, Linkin Park, Dave Matthews Band, Peter Gabriel, Alanis Morissette, Slash, The All-American Rejects, Hoobastank, Kenna, Enrique Iglesias and Lupe Fiasco. 100% of funds received will support those affected by the tragic earthquake in Haiti. Funds will be divided equally among the rapid response efforts of the United Nations Foundation, the long-term, sustainable rebuilding of homes with Habitat for Humanity, and Dave Matthews Band's BAMA Works Haitian relief effort. More information at

Housing Opportunity

You can own your own home at The Gates Cooperative, a newly-constructed beautiful brick cooperative building with spacious 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units that feature over-sized windows, abundant closet space, hardwood floors, and energy efficient appliances. Building includes laundry and storage rooms, recreational facilities and on-site parking. Close to subways, buses, shopping, and schools.

Maximum household income is $84,187. There is no minimum household income, but we estimate the lower range of acceptable incomes to be around $56,000/year to qualify for a 2-bedroom unit mortgage and a minimum of around $50,000 for a 1-bedroom unit mortgage. Household income is calculated based on current pay stubs (includes any bonuses, overtime, child support, interest payments, etc.), and includes all members, regardless of who in the household may be on the Cooperative mortgage.

Additionally, maximum assets for each household cannot exceed $52,749 for the 1-bedroom and $58,538 for the 2-bedroom unit. (This asset cap does not include money household may have in 401K or other retirements accounts.)

Those interested in submitting an application should download one from the website, or call (718) 522-2613 x15. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis so please hurry!! No broker's fee.
Income requirement

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hot 97 Shows Support for Haiti Quake Victims

In an unprecedented move, New York City’s the Hot 97 radio station, which usually only plays hip hop and R&B, played Haitian Compas and Zouk for an hour usually reserved for lunch-time, old school Hip-Hop. They also solicited donations for Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti organization which has already collected a record amount of funds via text message donations.

Haitians called in, some of them crying, to express their appraceition for this gesture. DJ Mr. Cee was joined by DJ Staks (a Haitian DJ) to give Haitians in the New York Tri-State a nice surprise, and some much needed support.

HaitiXchange - Hot 97 Shows Support for Haiti Quake Victims

Organizations Offer Free Phone Service, Counseling To New Yorkers

from NY1

In an effort to address the growing concerns of Haitian-Americans living in New York, the MediSys Health Network has established a Resource Center at one of its Family Care Centers and will offer free group and individual counseling to New York residents.

The Resource Center, located in Brooklyn at 1095 Flatbush Avenue, is equipped with computer and telephone access. Individuals will be able to use the facility to call loved ones in Haiti and access updated information on the region. It's open today from noon to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, January 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For hours beginning the week of Monday, January 18, please call 718-240-5345.

TCC Teleplex is also providing free calls to Haiti from all of its 2,000 payphones in New York City. For details, go to

In addition, the MediSys Health Network is offering free group and individual counseling to Brooklyn and Queens residents affected by the events in Haiti. Counseling is being provided at the following locations:

Brookdale Hospital Mental Health Clinic
One Brookdale Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11212
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday—8:30am to 5:00pm
Tuesday, Thursday—8:30am to 8:00pm
Saturday—9:00am to 5:00pm

Flushing Hospital Mental Health Clinic
4500 Parson Blvd
Flushing, NY 11355

Hours: Monday to Friday—9:00am to 9:00pm
Saturday—9:00am to noon

Jamaica Hospital Mental Health Clinic
8900 Van Wyck Expy
Jamaica, NY 11418

Hours: Monday to Friday—9:00am to 9:00pm
Saturday—9:00am to 9:00pm

Brookdale Hospital Family Care Center
1095 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
Please call for hours

While appointments are not necessary, the network encourages individuals to call before visiting the mental health clinics.

Flatbush still in shock

Across Flatbush - home to one of the the largest Haitian communities outside of the island - lives have been turned upside down by the horrific tragedy unfolding thousands of miles away.

Streets are less busy and people are crying softly as they walk past makeshift shrines that dot Nostrand and Flatbush Aves., gripping cell phones in case loved ones call.

Caf├ęs are filled with anguished faces gathered around TVs, desperate for news of those feared lost. Stores stand empty as familiar routines have come to a halt. School officials seek to comfort students whose minds are a million miles away.

Friday, January 15, 2010

More on Haiti, some somber news

1. NY Times is reporting that Haitians here "illegally" can now get Temporary Protected Status. As the paper of record, I would like to point out to the NY Times that it's not only those who are here "illegally". Temporary Protected Status is also for Haitians who might be in the U.S on a visitors visa, student visa or a business visa. It is far too dangerous to require them to go back now.

2. MTV is reporting that Jimmy O rapper and member of Wyclef's Yele Organization has died in the Earthquake.

3. NY Times is reporting that an owner of a Brooklyn of a Haitian Brooklyn Restaurant is missing.

4. Rachel Maddow is reporting tonight that Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT & T are waiving all text message service charges if you make a donation via text messaging. She is also reporting that as of now Verizon is the only cell phone company that will be releasing the moneys to charity immediately. Sprint will release 80 % of the money collected immediately.

5. Orphanage in Haiti needs help

6. The Caribbean rallies behind Haiti: Guyana gives a very generous donation to Haiti as they struggle themselves.

7. The most shocking development of the day is on CNN- Doctors working for the U.N has abandon their critically ill patients for security reasons. Dr. Sanjay Gupta who is reporting from the scene is the only doctor at the scene and has been left behind to take care of the dying patients.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti News

1. The Haitian Embassy is working on strengthening their phone capacity. In the meantime they have release a list of email addresses if you want to volunteer. Read more here

2. Please visit Saint Jerome Church on Newkirk and Nostrand Avenue. Cans, Clothing, plastic bottles of water are being accepted.

3. CNN is reporting that the Airport in Haiti has been secured by the U.S.

4. George Clooney and MTV has teamed up for a quake relief telethon on January 22.

5. CNN is reporting that Heroes Actor who is known as "The Haitian" spoke to his parents in Haiti. "Apparently they have not stopped crying ever since the earthquake happened," he said, his voice breaking.

6. Jamaica has been appointed to Coordinate CARICOM Relief Efforts

St. Lucia Government expresses sympathy and solidarity with the people of Haiti following earthquake.

Trinidad and Tobago offers troops and fast ferries to transport relief supplies to Haiti

9. Obama pledges $100 million with more to come and offers a message to the Haitian people.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More updates for Haiti

1.House Actress Olivia Wilde has promised a personalized video message to anyone who donated $200 or more toward the cause through Artists for Peace and Justice.

2. The U.S State Department Operations Center said Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti should call 1-888-407-4747. Due to heavy volume, some callers may receive a recording. "Our embassy is still in the early stages of contacting American citizens through our Warden Network," the U.S. State Department said in a statement. "Communications are very difficult within Haiti at this time."

3. The FBI urges people who are looking for ways to help with earthquake relief to be wary of solicitations that could be from scam artists.

4. In Addition to donating to Yele, you can also donate $ 10 to the Red Cross by texting "Haiti" to 90999

5. New York Times story on Haitians in Flatbush here

6. MSBC is reporting that anxiety and Mourning spreads widely throughout Flatbush.

7. Celebrities and fans respond to the disaster on twitter

8. CNN reports that the first U.S military aid has reached Haiti with more to come.

9. Teary Governor General thanks Canada for aid to Haiti. Read Here

10. Obama orders rapid response.

More updates for Haiti

1. You can donate directly through your cell phone. Text "YELE" to 501501 and $5 will be charged to your phone bill for the relief projects in Haiti. Yele Haiti is an organization that is run by Wyclef. For more information go to

2. For those who have family in Haiti. The phone companies named Haitel and Digicel has restored service. You may try to contact those with Haitel and Digicel phones.

3. If you need to contact your family in Haiti, contact the Haitian Embassy in Washington and they will have a list of people in their safe houses thus far in Haiti 202-332-4090.

But Please donate money. Even if it's a dollar. The easiest way is to text "yele" to 501501. Every text is $5. It ads up.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Quote of the day


I have decided to delete the last quote. Although it was geared towards global warming and was posted before the Earthquake in Haiti; I felt that it was inappropriate given the situation in Haiti.

Putting Politics Aside: Protect Access to Abortion Care in Health Care Reform

By Louise Melling, Director, ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project

We can all agree: health care reform should improve people’s lives. That’s simple enough. That’s how we got into this overhaul process in the first place. At minimum, health care reform should make health care more affordable and more accessible. But things in Congress don’t seem to be shaping up that way, at least not when it comes to women and reproductive health care.

First, the House of Representatives included an abortion coverage ban in its health care reform package and then the Senate followed suit with its own restrictions. While not as extreme as the House coverage ban, the Senate’s bill requires anyone purchasing an insurance plan that covers abortion to write two separate checks -- one to pay for the cost of the abortion services and another to pay for the rest of the covered care. This is an arbitrary and burdensome requirement that stigmatizes abortion and creates hurdles for both the insurer that wants to include abortion care in its health plan and the insured who wants the coverage.

It’s just common sense. No woman plans for an unplanned pregnancy. No woman expects to hear that the baby she’s been looking forward to holding will likely not survive the pregnancy. No woman wants to hear that carrying her pregnancy to term will seriously threaten her own health. Everyone’s circumstances and health care needs are different. Each of these women should be able to decide what is best for her health and her family. Health care reform should ensure that basic health care is covered, and that we all have something to fall back on when we need it most.

Given disincentives in both the House and Senate reform bills, private insurance companies may well decide not to offer any plan in the exchange that covers abortion. These restrictions effectively jeopardize the abortion coverage millions of women currently have.

In the coming weeks, members of the House and Senate will work to reconcile their two bills. The final legislation must not diminish women’s access to abortion care. Let’s make sure that the president gets to sign a measure that recognizes the importance of respecting everyone’s right to make personal private health care decisions without government interference, and that our health care coverage will truly meet our health care needs. That’s the kind of health care we can all get behind.

>>Take action: Tell Congress to Get It Right! Protect Women’s Access to Abortion in Health Care Reform.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Quote of the day

Know that although in the eternal scheme of things you are small, you are also unique and irreplaceable, as are all your fellow humans everywhere in the world.
Margaret Laurence

Special Treatment

Howard Safir, a New York City police commissioner during the Giuliani administration, backed his sport utility vehicle into a pregnant woman on the Upper East Side on Friday afternoon and then drove away, the police said. The woman, Joanne M. Valarezo, 30, of the Bronx, was not knocked down and was not seriously injured in the accident, which occurred at 2:25 p.m. in front of 1418 Third Avenue, the authorities said. They said she was able to jot down the license plate of Mr. Safir’s black 2009 Cadillac Escalade. More

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Quote of the day

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Social formations

Some of the commentators have been talking about subconscious or implicit racism in the nypd and in Brooklyn. One person called it "white supremacist 2.0", because even some minorities have adopted this mind frame. I received an email from a reader who pointed me to a white anti-racist group called On their web page under the "what we believe" label it says that they believe that:

The white race is a historically constructed social formation. It consists of all those who partake of the privileges of the white skin in this society. Its most wretched members share a status higher, in certain respects, than that of the most exalted persons excluded from it, in return for which they give their support to a system that degrades them. "

They went on to say that

The key to solving the social problems of our age is to abolish the white race, which means no more and no less than abolishing the privileges of the white skin. Until that task is accomplished, even partial reform will prove elusive, because white influence permeates every issue, domestic and foreign, in US society. The existence of the white race depends on the willingness of those assigned to it to place their racial interests above class, gender, or any other interests they hold. The defection of enough of its members to make it unreliable as a predictor of behavior will lead to its collapse. RACE TRAITOR aims to serve as an intellectual center for those seeking to abolish the white race. It will encourage dissent from the conformity that maintains it and popularize examples of defection from its ranks, analyze the forces that hold it together and those that promise to tear it apart. Part of its task will be to promote debate among abolitionists. When possible, it will support practical measures, guided by the principle, Treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity."

This sounds highly controversial. So much so that they got an email from a 17 year girl that read

Dear Race Traitor:
I read your statement "What We Believe." I am a sixteen-year-old white girl and so far as I know I have never done anything wrong to any person of another color. Why do you hate me simply because I have white skin? You say you want to abolish the white race. You people are as bad as the Ku Klux Klan.
A reader"

They responding by saying

Thank you for writing. You have misunderstood our meaning. We do not hate you or anyone else for the color of her skin. What we hate is a system that confers privileges (and burdens) on people because of their color. It is not fair skin that makes people white; it is fair skin in a certain kind of society, one that attaches social importance to skin color. When we say we want to abolish the white race, we do not mean we want to exterminate people with fair skin. We mean that we want to do away with the social meaning of skin color, thereby abolishing the white race as a social category. Consider this parallel: To be against royalty does not mean wanting to kill the king. It means wanting to do away with crowns, thrones, titles, and the privileges attached to them. In our view, whiteness has a lot in common with royalty: they are both social formations that carry unearned advantages."

Her response was
Thank you for your explanation. I see what you mean, and I am sorry I jumped to conclusions."

What do you guys think?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Quote of the day

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves.
Mohandas Gandhi

New Email buddy

Approximately 12,000 residents of East Flatbushwill soon find themselves on the 67th Precinct’s email list.

The effort, starting in the new year, will enable the precinct to keep in contact with those who live and work in the community, particularly with respect to problems that may occur locally, said Captain Jeffrey Schiff, the precinct’s executive officer.

Schiff revealed the details of the new initiative during the December meeting of Community Board 17, which was held in the gymnasium at St. Therese of Lisieux, Troy Avenue and Avenue D. More

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Quote of the day

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Blue on Blue violence?

Many of the comments on this blog are complaining about how black cops treat other Black people in flatbush. Many of you think it has to do with black cops adopting a viewpoint, similar to what had happen in Apartheid South Africa. This story illustrates some of the comments.

from gothamist...

Sgt. Reginald McReynolds, a 19 year veteran of the NYPD, was returning to his girlfriend's Bronx apartment with their Chinese food one night at the end of October when he was stopped by a rookie cop and his partner. Officers Kyle Bach and Joseph Azevedo, who are white, were responding to a domestic dispute call in the building. The perp was described as in his late 20s and weighing about 150 pounds; McReynolds is a 42-year-old black man weighing in at 275 pounds. Nevertheless, McReynolds says Bach "came right up in my face and said, 'What fucking apartment are you going to?'" It's no surprise that the ensuing exchange wasn't all that courteous, professional, or respectful. Read more

What do you guys think?

Quote of the day

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. (or woman)
Benjamin Franklin