Timelines 10/3/13

Man arrested for disorderly conduct, drug possession in Stony Point
Stony Point Police arrested Bronx resident Anthony Cangelosi, 27, on September 26 for multiple drug charges when the suspect made a scene at the town’s CVS. Police arrived at the scene after the pharmacy called with a disorderly person complaint against Cangelosi. Upon investigation, police found Cangelosi to be in possession of four glassine bags of cocaine, two 1 mg pills of Clonazepan and a glass pipe with cocaine residue. Cangelosi was arrested on two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 7th degree, processed, arraigned and remanded to the Rockland County Jail. Bail was set at $500 and he is due back in court on October 15.

West Haverstraw man arrested on drug possession, outstanding warrant
A routine traffic stop on September 26 netted a man with an arrest warrant out in the Village of Monroe, along with a stash of drugs the man had in his vehicle at the time. Police pulled over West Haverstraw resident Brandon P. Miller, 29, before discovering the active warrant for the sale of a controlled substance, a felony offense. After arresting Miller, police discovered he was in possession of various prescription pills and hypodermic needles. Miller was charged with nine counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 7th degree and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument. He was arrested, processed and issued an appearance ticket for November 7 before being turned over to Monroe Police.

Housing recovery program announced for homeowners affected by Sandy and Irene
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on September 28 that the New York State Housing Recovery Program will now cover gaps in FEMA coverage, protecting homeowners impacted by soil and earth movement caused by Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. Currently, FEMA covers damage directly caused by flood waters, but not by floodwater-caused soil movement, leaving some homeowners with neither housing nor resources to rebuild. Calling the FEMA standards “unfair,” Cuomo explained the state’s Housing Recovery Program would now fully compensate homeowners for soil movement damage. Soil movement prevention is also on the table. Along with the coverage, the state’s Office of Storm Recovery programs is currently working with the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program to determine if local resiliency measures can be retained or expanded to prevent soil movement.

Statewide gun buyback program announced
A gun buyback program was announced by Attorney General Eric T. Schneidermann on September 28 to incentivize the return of firearms to the state. The program features on-site compensation in the form of debit cards at locations in Binghamton, Poughkeepsie, Utica, Yonkers and the Buffalo suburb of Cheektowaga. According to Schneidermann, the collaborative effort was initiated to reduce violence by minimizing the number of weapons on New York streets. An unlimited number of both functional and non-functional weapons can be returned. Antique and non-working firearms are worth $25, rifles and shotguns are worth $50, handguns are worth $75, and assault weapons are worth $100.

New state laws restrict parental rights of sex offenders
Two bills designed to shield victims and children born as a result of sex crimes from sex offenders were signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday. The first bill restricts parental and visitation rights of sex offenders when a child is born as a result of the crime, while the second bill will expand certain local and state corrections personnel access to the State Order of Protection Registry so they can track inmates and prevent contact with victims or children. In addition, sex offenders will not have the right to receive notice of adoption and social service proceedings of children conceived as a result of sexual assault. Prior to the new laws, visitation rights were not explicitly prohibited except in cases of first degree sexual assault with forcible compulsion where the child was conceived as a result. Consequently, victims were often threatened with parental claims to prevent them from going to police about the assault.

Michael Savage to take over Sean Hannity’s radio slot
Conservative radio personality Michael Savage confirmed on September 25 that he is set to take over Sean Hannity’s Cumulus Radio slot, which includes Cumulus New York’s WABC 770 AM. Hannity will be giving his 3 to 6 p.m. slot to Savage, a staunch political and social commentator. It is the second confirmed departure of a conservative radio host from Cumulus, the first being Rush Limbaugh, who left his noon to 3 p.m. slot at WABC for a new one with WOR 710 AM. Hannity is expected to make the same move. Cumulus has not yet commented on the move.

Nanuet Ambulance Corps volunteer responds to his own son’s fatal accident
Nanuet Amulance Corps volunteer Robert Little responded to an accident on the train tracks just west of the Spring Valley Marketplace on September 27, only to find the victim was Richard Little, his own son. After the unpleasant shock, fellow volunteers removed Robert from the site and offered him comfort while first responders continued to work at the scene. Richard was pronounced dead at the scene. Evidence indicates the accident occurred when Richard, 33, was walking on the tracks with his earbuds on not long after 8 a.m. Though the conductor blew the horn to warn Richard, he did not respond and was struck and killed by the train. The accident is the third death on train tracks within nine months and the second involving a victim wearing headphones, a trend which has proven to be a nationwide safety concern.

At least 42 college students killed by Islamists in Nigeria
Terrorists suspected to be from the Boko Haram Islamist group attacked a college dormitory in Gujba, killing at least 42 students as they slept. After riding into the college in two double-cabin pickup all terrain vehicles and motorcycles, the militants entered four of the male dormitories of the the Yobe State College of Agriculture at around 1 a.m. and opened fire, killing an unconfirmed number of students. The Nigerian Military has tallied 42 confirmed deaths and 18 injuries so far, but Provost Molima Idi Mato explained the number of dead could be as high as 50. Police sources indicated Boko Haram, a group which has been aiming to establish an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, is likely behind the attacks. Boko Haram is known to have recently targeted schools and government buildings in the region. The ongoing civil war has resulted in 1,700 deaths by Islamic militants since 2010 and forced more than 30,000 refugees into the neighboring nations of Cameroon and Chad.

Details emerge of torture meted out by Kenyan terrorists
Reports have begun to emerge from Kenyan soldiers that Al Shabaab terrorists who took hostages at a Nairobi mall last week brutally tortured their captives before the mall was recaptured by military forces. Hostages were reportedly dismembered, castrated, had their eyes gouged out and their ears, noses and fingers removed before being hung from hooks on the ceiling. Victims also had their throats slit before being tossed from balconies at the end of the conflict and children were left in freezers with knives still stuck inside their bodies. The four-day siege is thought to be retribution for recent incursions into Al Shabaab territory by Kenyan forces in Somalia. Of the ten to fifteen terrorists thought to have been involved, five insurgents were killed after military personnel secured the mall at around 6 a.m. on September 24 and at least ten were taken into custody. Around 150 people are thought to have been killed in the attack.

Russian Orthodox patriarch appeals to Obama to peaceably end war in Syria
In a letter penned to President Obama, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill called for American attention to the plight of Syrian Christians, but urged against military intervention and called for alternatives. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church explained pressure on Syrian Christians has been intense, but support has been minimal from Western nations traditionally known for predominantly Christian cultures. However, he urged U.S. leaders against a military strike, arguing it would “bring ever greater sufferings to the Syrian people,” including reprisals against Syrian Christians. Kirill pointed out that most of the anti-government forces were foreign-born radicals intent on a more sectarian agenda, making the situation particularly dangerous for Christians. Hence, intervention could result in an acceleration of violent reprisals.

Despite concerns, MTA budget outlook improves
A New York State Comptroller analysis of the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s financial plan was released on September 27, expressing optimism about the organization’s financial standing but wariness of anticipated fare and toll hikes. The report considered the MTA’s outlook “much improved” over its position earlier in 2013. During that period, the MTA eliminated its 2014 budget gap and reduced out-year gaps from $638 million to $240 million. Still, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli pointed out the MTA is not quite stable, as evidenced by 15 percent increases to fares and tolls set for a three-year period. In addition, the MTA was able to secure $1.9 billion in unanticipated resources from higher tax revenues, lower pension contributions and lower energy costs, among other sources. Most of these funds will be used for service improvements, maintenance, budget gap reductions and an upcoming capital project.

Class action lawsuit against East Ramapo moves forward
A class action lawsuit filed by Advocates for Justice on behalf of about 400 parents against the East Ramapo School Board is moving forward in federal court after a September 30 ruling allowing most of the core complaints to move forward. Though a number of claims were dropped by U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel due to a lack of evidence or standing, the most central claims were retained. These claims include allegations that attorney Albert D’Agostino colluded with the School District in a scheme to place special education students in private schools to avoid state reimbursements. If successful, the lawsuit could be used as a tool to confront a broader array of issues dividing the school district such as the use of public funds to finance education in private yeshivas and the sale of two schools at deflated prices. A finding in favor of the plaintiffs could also mean the board is liable for individual claims and may be forced to reimburse the school district for improperly-used funds.

De Blasio election could open City Hall to far-left voices
An opinion piece by Sol Stern of the City Journal compares and contrasts New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio with pre-presidency Barack Obama and concludes de Blasio’s election could reorient the city’s Democrats further to the left. According to Stern, deBlasio’s history as a left-wing social activist and his visit to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua illustrate a willingness to buck more centrist party politics in favor of an unabashedly radical position. Stern goes on to argue deBlasio’s willingness to embrace his radical past might suggest he will open City Hall to personalities and groups leaning further left than the city typically accommodates. “It’s not that the next mayor will try to establish socialism or bring Sandinista ideas about the class struggle to government agencies, but de Blasio’s ascendancy, perhaps even more than Obama’s, marks another step in the evolution of the Democratic Party and big-city liberalism toward a twenty-first century version of the old Popular Front,” Stern argues. Like Obama, who once associated with controversial preacher Reverend Jeremiah Wright and ex-Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers, De Blasio has a history of identification with radical figures. However, Obama attempted to distance himself from his past associations, unlike de Blasio, who not only admitted to but also defended his actions.