Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wakefield News: College is not for everyone

Wakefield News: College is not for everyone: Wakefield Area News By Mary V Lauro BRONX, NEW YORK, April 18- Some of the most profound medical and physical discoveries were made...

College is not for everyone

Wakefield Area News
By Mary V Lauro
BRONX, NEW YORK, April 18- Some of the most profound medical and physical discoveries were made during a time when college was not for everyone and yet, no one worried about it. Nowadays, it seems everyone worries about it. Why that is so, is anyone's guess.
First there is the question of money. Colleges cost so much that upon reflection they force couples to choose between having children and sending them to college. The Bachelor of Arts is expensive. The higher degrees are more so. There are no refunds. Children who decide to drop out still have a huge debt which manages to curtail not only their lives, but that of their families and children.
To the normal fertile brain, college study work is not difficult. But, as with other parts of the body, the rate of its development in every person is not the same. A young person may enter college thinking he would like to spend his life as a math teacher only to find it is too difficult for him or it does not interest him at all. A young woman may want to be a doctor but drops out of Pre-med when she realizes she is far more fascinated by History. Why are we spending so much money on what's called higher, education, when truth be told we are not doing so well on primary education?
Fifty years ago it was believed best to go to work immediately after graduating from High School. Working, it was believed matured the mind and taught the individual that life was not all fun and games. Today, it is the opposite. One is rushed or rushes into college as soon as possible. Whatever for? Does reading more books make one more intelligent?
If that were the case today's elementary school children would be a lot smarter than they were 20 years ago, but that is not the case. Tests seem to indicate the opposite. The blame is placed on the teachers who are accused of caring more for their jobs and wages than the success of their teaching arts.
This is not meant to be another diatribe against the teachers union. Far from it. It is meant to stem the indebtedness thrust on our young by the enormous cost of “higher” education. There are so many ways to earn a living without having to pay for learning it. Many of these are honorable jobs. Unfortunately however, in today's world, they don't earn million or billions, but they do earn sufficient wages to live a good life.
There would be no social order if there were no civil order. So, we may come to understand that a job in Sanitation may be more life serving than one in legal matters. Policing may be more lifesaving than teaching. And how about all those other wonderful jobs too numerous to mention, but all so necessary masonry, painting, plumbing, cooking, driving, cleaning, sewing, etc.
356477_10%OFF Monther's Day Promotion No annual contract! Prepaid plans with unliminted text, starting at $35/month

Friday, April 12, 2013

Drug crew charged with murders

Crack Crew Members Charged with Murders

BRONX, NEW YORK, April 12-Additional charges against 12 alleged members of drug trafficking crews based in the vicinity of Allerton Avenue Co-ops and the Parkside Houses in the Bronx.

Eleven of the 12 defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and possessing, brandishing, and discharging firearms in connection with and in furtherance of the charged crack cocaine conspiracy. In connection with the crack cocaine conspiracy, ARMANI CUMMINGS is charged with the January 2010 murder of Lequan Jones and the June 2010 murder of Carl Copeland, both of whom were shot in the Bronx. BRYAN RHODES is also charged with Copeland’s murder. JOSE MUNOZ is charged with the December 2011 murder of Shameek Young, who was shot in the Bronx. In addition, JESSIE MCCOLLUM is charged with a non-fatal, drug-related shooting in the Bronx on that same day. MUNOZ is also charged with conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, participation in a Hobbs Act robbery, and his use of a firearm in connection with and in furtherance of it.

Nine of the defendants are already in custody in connection with charges contained in previous indictments related to this prosecution, which led to the arrests of 63 individuals and was the result of a coordinated operation involving federal, state, and local law enforcement officers. Two of the defendants were released on bail following their arrests in December 2011. One of the defendants remains at large. The defendants will be arraigned today in Manhattan federal court before U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero on the charges in the Superseding Indictment at 2:00 p.m.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “The charges in this indictment once again put the nexus between drugs, guns, and fatal violence into stark relief. Through patient and painstaking work, the investigators and prosecutors targeted violent drug operations, charged drug crimes at first, and eventually were able to charge drug-related murders, shootings, and other violent crimes which might have gone otherwise unaddressed. The law enforcement drumbeat will continue until we clean up the streets of our communities once and for all.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos said: “The link between drug trafficking and gun violence could not be better illustrated than with this investigation. The defendants, initially charged with narcotics offenses, now stand charged with crimes of violence, including three fatal shootings. Policing drug trafficking reduces the threat of gun violence. That is the reason the FBI and the NYPD work these cases.”

NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “The charges announced today make clear the nexus between illicit drugs and violence, including murder, as well as the risk faced by police officers who work undercover to provide a modicum of safety to law abiding residents of public housing. I commend the NYPD detectives and the prosecutors in U.S. Attorney’s office for their thorough investigation.”

As alleged in the superseding indictment returned Wednesday and other documents filed in Manhattan federal court:

From 2006 through February 20, 2013, undercover officers with the NYPD made hundreds of purchases of crack cocaine from drug dealers in the Allerton Avenue Co-ops and Parkside Houses. During the buys, officers were able to purchase significant street level quantities of crack. In addition, members of the drug trafficking organization used firearms, threats of violence, and violence to secure and enforce their drug territory. This included the 2010 murder of Lequan Jones, the 2010 murder of Carl Copeland, and the 2011 murder of Shameek Young, all of which occurred in the Bronx. During the incident involving the fatal shooting of Young, an innocent bystander was shot and critically wounded.

A chart containing the ages, residency information, and charges against the defendants, as well as the maximum penalties they face is below.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and the NYPD. He added that the investigation is continuining.

The prosecution of this case is being overseen by the Office’s Violent Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy D. Sini and Hadassa Waxman are in charge of the prosecution.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wakefield News: Cleaner politics II

Wakefield News: Cleaner politics II: Wakefield Area News By Mary V. Lauro BRONX, NEW YORK, April 11-  It's an old story. The innocent always suffer for the guilty. But...

Cleaner politics II

Wakefield Area News
By Mary V. Lauro
BRONX, NEW YORK, April 11- It's an old story. The innocent always suffer for the guilty. But if we don't say it, who will? No! We are not going to conclude that all longtime political figures are crooks, but we are going to suggest that most political crooks are longtime political figures. It seems that sleaze, bribery, political malfeasance and sex are more commonly associated with having been elected too often.
But the fault is not only that of the political entrepreneur. It is part of a laziness which envelops us all. Yes! Yes! We make all sorts of noises regarding our veneration of freedom and liberty but the truth is we'd rather be left alone.
Most residents in Wakefield, and we dare say in other communities as well, have not the foggiest notion of whom their elected officials are. Part of that reason is because the district lines are changed every 10 years after the Census. They are not changed to benefit us. They are changed to benefit politicians.
It is a sad fact that in our diverse society, just as they cluster in neighborhoods, citizens tend to vote their own backgrounds. Thus Italians tend to vote for Italians, Jews for Jews, Hispanics for Hispanics and African Americans for African Americans. When district lines are redrawn the political entrepreneurs tend to draw their own lines. Keep in mind that in New York political entrepreneurs swore to Mayor Koch that they would not do so in 2010.
Of course, even with district lines drawn in their favor, a strong favored incumbent can win over a strong opponent, but that is rarely the case. But that is rarely the case. The incumbent is re-elected even though he may be suspected of malfeasance. This is not to say that all elected officials having been elected three or four times are unworthy of their positions. Many are honest capable, caring and effective.
Does that mean that no one else can do their job or that no one else is capable of doing their job? That great and far-sighted American, George Washington, our first president thought two four year terms were enough for a president. Except for Franklin D. Roosevelt, every other president followed that precept. In it is now ingrained in our Constitution.
The political sleaze that was uncovered last week raises once again the price of leaving the number of terms unlimited for an incumbent. Term limits will not got rid of sleaze. It will control it.
That great and far-sighted American our first President, George Washington, thought two, four-year terms were enough for one man. Other than Franklin Delano Roosevelt, no other President has served as long. If two, four-year terms are good enough for our Presidents, why are they not good enough for lesser political entrepreneurs?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wakefield News: Wakefield Area News

Wakefield News: Wakefield Area News: The peoples’ work By Mary V. Laura BRONX, NEW YORK, April 4-  If men were angels," wrote James Madison in Federalist Paper No. 51...

Wakefield Area News

The peoples’ work
By Mary V. Laura
BRONX, NEW YORK, April 4- If men were angels," wrote James Madison in Federalist Paper No. 51 back in 1788, "No government would be necessary," Well and good. But does that mean they are devils?
It certainly seems so. Almost on a daily basis, through the news media, we learn of another elected official being accused of or indicted on criminal behavior. Wakefield has already suffered the conviction of State Senator Guy Velella. And for which we thank God, the conviction of Councilman Larry Seabrook.
The list of elected officials who are being investigated, or who leave much to be desired is long, but we concentrate on those closest to us keeping in mind that an accusation or an investigation does not mean guilt. We repeat that. An accusation does not mean guilt. On the other hand, where there is smoke, there usually is fire. We mention Pedro Espada because we had one of his clinics right here in Wakefield. He has been convicted on at least one count.
Sadly, earlier this year The New York Post ran a news story insinuating foul play by Senator Jeffrey Klein. Nothing further has been heard which is good news, more for him than for the electorate. And now, we have Congressman Engel being criticized for taking a mortgage from one of his highest donors. Not illegal, but not right. Even so and above all, let's not forget the Spitzer debacle.
When one considers that this nation was forged by men who pledged their "sacred honor," one wonders how that honor was lost in so short a time. Consider that at the urging of former Mayor Ed Koch, the majority in both houses of our state legislature pledged to reject any gerrymandering made on a partisan basis. Seventy five of those lawmakers broke their promise, four of them from New York City and one of them none other than our own Senator Klein!
The prevalence of all sorts of hanky-panky in our government led to the formation of the Center for Public Integrity which has been around for some time. This year it ranked our state government 15th from the bottom of the 50 states. Can you imagine? That is worse than getting a D. It is almost an F.
Well, it should be no surprise. We know that we have some sterling legislators working for us whether it be in the City Council, the Assembly or the Senate, but we also know we have some duds who do very little else but work on getting re-elected usually by spreading our tax dollars to reward favorite persons or causes and taking advantage of every photo opportunity. The sad thing is that, we, the voters permit this to go on. But that is another story.
In any case, we are asking all our legislators to look into three problems that the average citizen is dealing with. They should not be difficult to solve if they put their heads together. First is the parking problem. Left unchecked, road rage will take second place to parking rage. Lives will be lost. By the same token, Muni meters should be brought to the attention of the Supreme Court as a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Second, adjustment is needed in rental laws for two and three-family houses. Eviction of problematic and non-paying tenants is entirely too long, too cumbersome and costly.
And third, how about bringing some order to our zoning ordinances and our building regulations? The City is harboring hundreds of fire traps in illegal conversions.
Are these three items really so difficult to accomplish?