NY Post: Pharmacy Charges 9/11 Responders $150 for Medication Records

Ordinarily if medical records are needed for a medical purpose, doctors provide them as a courtesy for no cost, although technically they may charge.  It is especially inexcusable in this case, where all the pharmacy has to do is print out computer data.  Seeing this case, I’m planning to introduce a bill to broaden the definition of health facilities to cover pharmacies.  I would hope that common decency and public attention would get this pharmacy to provide these records for free.

By Susan Edelman, New York Post, August 24

A pharmacy near Mount Sinai Hospital is gouging sick 9/11 responders by charging $150 for a simple printout of the medications they take, advocates told The Post.

Real Affordability for All: New Yorkers March for Good Jobs & Affordable Housing

I joined hundreds of New Yorkers at the Real Affordability for All March for good jobs and affordable housing in Manhattan.  A new coalition of affordable housing activists and labor organizations is urging the City to require more affordable housing to be built with union labor, with unions agreeing to accept wages 40% below union pay.  I marched and spoke at the rally organized by organizations like the Metropolitan Council on Housing, the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, New York Communities for Change, VOCAL-NY, and Local 46 of the Metallic Lathers & Ironworkers to support the movement for more affordable housing now.

At the Real Affordability for All March for good jobs and affordable housing now.

At the Real Affordability for All March for good jobs and affordable housing now.

With New York City Council Members Vanessa Gibson, Mark Levine, and Rosie Mendez.

With New York City Council Members Vanessa Gibson, Mark Levine, and Rosie Mendez.

With Jarod Bejamin of the Metropolitan Council on Housing I joined hundreds of New Yorkers at the Real Affordability for All March for good jobs and affordable housing in Manhattan. A new coalition of affordable housing activists and labor organizations is urging the City to require more affordable housing to be built with union labor, with unions agreeing to accept wages 40% below union pay. I marched and spoke at the rally organized by organizations like the Metropolitan Council on Housing, the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, New York Communities for Change, VOCAL-NY, and Local 46 of the Metallic Lathers & Ironworkers to support the movement for more affordable housing now.

With Jaron Benjamin of the Metropolitan Council on Housing

With john Skinner, President of Metal Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 46, at the rally before the Real Affordability for All March for good jobs and affordable housing now.

With John Skinner, President of Metal Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 46

Interview with WNYC Radio before the rally for the Real Affordability for All March for good jobs and affordable housing now.

Interview with WNYC Radio before the rally

Interview with Alyssa Katz of the New York Daily News editorial board before the Real Affordability for All March for good jobs and affordable housing now.

Interview with Alyssa Katz of the New York Daily News editorial board

With Bertha Lewis, President & Founder of The Black Institute

With Bertha Lewis, President & Founder of The Black Institute

With tenant activist Michael Mckee I joined hundreds of New Yorkers at the Real Affordability for All March for good jobs and affordable housing in Manhattan. A new coalition of affordable housing activists and labor organizations is urging the City to require more affordable housing to be built with union labor, with unions agreeing to accept wages 40% below union pay. I marched and spoke at the rally organized by organizations like the Metropolitan Council on Housing, the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, New York Communities for Change, VOCAL-NY, and Local 46 of the Metallic Lathers & Ironworkers to support the movement for more affordable housing now.

With tenant activist Michael Mckee

With Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, at the rally before the Real Affordability for All March for good jobs and affordable housing now.

With Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York

 

I spoke at the rally after the Real Affordability for All March for good jobs and affordable housing now.

Speaking at the rally

Chelsea Now: Tenants’ Rights Trashed Amidst Market-Rate Conversion

By Winnie McCroy, August 14

In a case of landlord harassment that State Senator Brad Hoylman called “egregious,” the longtime tenants of 222-224 W. 21st St. are allegedly being illegally evicted so that Slate Property Group can construct high-end rentals in place of their subsidized housing.

Only seven of the original 23 tenants remain, and these holdouts say they are subjected to drilling and jackhammering from 7 a.m. until midnight, random cuts to utilities (including water, cable and Internet), unsafe living conditions, and a campaign of harassment intended to make them leave their home of nearly 20 years.

The Villager: Speed on Houston St. Bowery, Sixth Ave. will be slowed to 25 m.p.h.

By Lincoln Anderson, August 7.

In the coming months, 14 more corridors — including Houston St., the Bowery and Sixth Ave. — will be added to the city’s growing number of so-called “arterial slow zones.”

The Department of Transportation announced the second batch of new arterial slow zones on Fri., Aug. 1.

The city’s first two arterial slow zones were launched in May, when it was also announced that Canal St. would also become one — Downtown Manhattan’s first slow zone — by June.

Photos: Night Out Against Crime in Chelsea & Hell’s Kitchen

In August I participated in the Night Out Against Crime events at Fulton Houses in Chelsea and in Hell’s Kitchen Park, where neighbors, community groups and people in law enforcement gather to support crime prevention efforts and celebrate the strength and diversity of neighborhoods.

In Chelsea, I talked with volunteers with the Fulton Houses Tenants Association, the local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and other neighborhood organizations, and greeted the new Commanding Officer of the 10th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry. I’m glad she is continuing the Precinct’s “Cop of the Month” program.

In Hell’s Kitchen, I caught up with volunteers for community-based organizations like the Ryan Chelsea/Clinton Health Center, thanked officers with the Midtown North Precinct for working to keep our neighborhoods safe, and spoke with officials from the Midtown Community Court about its important work, which has become a model for similar institutions around the nation and even the world.

I was particularly gratified to learn that the Court often uses a law I recently wrote. If a person is convicted of prostitution, and had been forced into prostitution by human trafficking, the law allows the person to have his or her criminal record erased. It enables the human trafficking victim to move ahead in life without the burden of a criminal prostitution record. It’s an important tool for our Midtown Community Court.

With the Ryan Community Health Network table at the Night Out Against Crime event in Hell's Kitchen Park on August 5, 2014.

With the Ryan Community Health Network table at the Night Out Against Crime event in Hell’s Kitchen Park on August 5, 2014.

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With Miguel Acevedo, President of the Fulton Houses Tenants Association

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With Miguel Acevedo, President of Fulton Houses Tenants Association, and Deputy Inspector Michele Arizzary, the new Commanding Officer of the 10th Precinct

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With Deputy Inspector Michele Arizzary, the new Commanding Officer of the 10th Precinct

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At the Night Out Against Crime event at Fulton Houses in Chelsea on August 5, 2014.

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At the Night Out Against Crime event at Fulton Houses in Chelsea on August 5, 2014.

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At the Night Out Against Crime event at Fulton Houses in Chelsea on August 5, 2014.

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Greeting a leader of Chelsea’s CERT team

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With Jeff Hobbs and Dipal Shah of the Midtown Community Court

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Greeting officers of the Midtown South Precinct

With 10th Precinct Community Affairs officers at the Night Out Against Crime event at Fulton Houses in Chelsea on August 5, 2014.

With 10th Precinct Community Affairs officers

At the Night Out Against Crime event at Fulton Houses in Chelsea on August 5, 2014.

At the Night Out Against Crime event at Fulton Houses on August 5, 2014.

Donate to Preserve Hopper Gibbons Underground Railroad Site

Earlier this week I co-hosted a benefit with Friends of the Hopper Gibbons Underground Railroad Site and Lamartine Place Historic District to preserve the historic integrity of the only documented underground railroad site in Manhattan.

We’ve won twice in court to get the building’s illegal top floor removed, but the developer is appealing the court’s decision and we need your help for legal costs.

For more information and to make a donation, check out the Historic DIstricts Council website:  http://hdc.org/friends-of-hg-lamartine-pl-fundraiser Here are a couple of background articles on the issue:

WAMC: Clinton County Passes Fracking Waste Ban

By Pat Bradley, WAMC, July 24

The Clinton County Legislature has approved a law banning the sale, transport, storage and disposal of fracking and other waste. The League of Women Voters had pushed for its passage.

The new Clinton County law applies to hydraulic fracturing, natural gas, and oil waste materials. It bans the application of such waste on any road or property. It cannot be brought into or used in any wastewater treatment facilities or solid waste management facility in the county.  It also bars all sales, acquisition, storage, handling, treatment and/or processing of the materials within the county.

Times-Union: Cuomo is pressured to expedite program’s rollout

By Ben Oreskes, Albany Times-Union, July 30

Under pressure from advocates for those with epilepsy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has asked acting state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to evaluate whether there’s a way to speed up the rollout of the state’s medical marijuana program.

“Striking the right balance to ensure public safety and public health are protected is crucial,” Cuomo wrote in a letter released Wednesday. “That said, I ask that you review the 18-month implementation timeline to determine if there is any way to accelerate the process for this specific dire population.”

Press Wrap – Medical Marijuana Signed Into Law

On Saturday, Governor Cuomo signed legislation making New York the 23rd state to allow medical use of marijuana under medical supervision.  Below is a sample of the press coverage, and here’s an interview I did this morning on News Radio 77 WABC with Rita Cosby:

:

Cuomo Signs Marijuana Law, Says it Offers Balance,” by Dan Goldberg, Capital New York

Q&A: Medical Marijuana Bill Sponsors Savino and Gottfried on its Passage,Associated Press via Slive.com

With Rockland County girl’s help, Cuomo touts medical-marijuana bill,” by Jon Campbell, Gannett

Medical Marijuana Becomes Legal in New York,” by Karen DeWitt, WXXI News (with audio)

Who Can Legally Get Medical Marijuana in New York State,” by Colby Hamilton, DNAinfo

“New York Does Medical Marijuana Right,” by Steven Patierno, Wall Street Journal

 

Statement on Hobby Lobby Decision

“The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision is shameful. Your employer should have no say in your health care decisions, especially about reproductive care. Your pay check and your employment benefits are yours. The decision seems to be based on statutory interpretation, not a constitutional claim. So New York State’s long-standing law protecting insurance coverage for contraception is hopefully in good shape. BTW, if NY enacted my single-payer New York Health bill, only you and your health care provider would make health care decisions – not your insurance company, not your boss.”