More Police Needed to Keep Upper Manhattan Residents Safe After Rash of Sexual Attacks
By Albor Ruiz
June 15, 2011
These days a walk in the park is no walk in the park for residents of northern Manhattan, especially women.
In what seems like a throwback to the bad old days, violent crime has made a comeback, spreading fear in the Washington Heights and Inwood communities.
Three sexual assaults took place in as many days in the area, last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Two of the women were attacked in the Bennett Ave. area, a short distance from the 34th Precinct stationhouse. The third was assaulted in Inwood Hill Park, where three other women have also been victims of sexual predators in the last 16 months.
Residents are rightfully alarmed and, along with elected officials, have mobilized to combat this crime wave in which women have become the targets of choice. They are calling on the NYPD to do whatever it takes to restore safety to their community.
"We will not simply sit back and watch crime return to northern Manhattan," said state Senator Adriano Espaillat.
Pols Want to Clamp Down on Sugary Booze Sales to Minors
June 8, 2011
By Zachary Kussin
Bodegas and stores that sell a sweetened alcoholic beverage known as "nutcrackers" to underage customers could soon face tough penalties --including fines and jail time.
The so-called "Nutcracker Bill," which unanimously passed a vote in the New York State Senate on Monday, comes after investigators found that barbershops and small grocery stores around the five boroughs had been selling the mixed drinks to minors.
The drinks are generally made of hard liquor, like vodka or rum, and highly sweetened juice or Kool-Aid. The beverages seem to be especially targeted to teens because they are cheap and sugary.
With the summer heat starting to settle in, thirsty minors looking for a buzz are once again turning their attention to Nutcrackers—a sweet homemade cocktail illegally sold to legal and underage drinkers on the street, in bodegas and in barbershops—much to the chagrin of lawmakers and police. And Albany will not let that stand. Yesterday the State Senate passed a so-called "Nutcracker Bill" that will greatly increase the punishments for Nutcracker peddlers, assuming it passes in the Assembly.
Fifty Years After His Death, Does Trujillo Still Matter?
By John Gutierrez
June 07, 2011
Santiago de los Caballeros is the Dominican Republic’s “second-city” and it was here that a soon-to-be seven-year-old boy named Adriano Espaillat learned that Trujillo had died. Looking back, Espaillat, now a New York State Senator, still remembers the planes that would fly over his town dropping propaganda leaflets extolling Trujillo.
State Lawmakers Argue Over Rent Laws as Deadline Looms
By THOMAS KAPLAN
Published: June 14, 2011
Lawmakers accused Republicans of trying the same move this year. “This is an end-around to try to skip town,” said Senator Adriano Espaillat of Manhattan, the senior Democrat on the Senate housing committee. “We’ve seen it before. We’re not going to be fooled by it. We know what it is. It’s a cheap trick.”
Minority state lawmakers have made no secret of the fact they consider rent regulation a defining issue in their relationship with Gov. Cuomo.
Our Glenn Blain reports:
Gov. Cuomo’s move today to launch robocalls pushing for stronger rent laws has earned him support from one key member of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus – state Sen. Adriano Espaillat.
UPPER MANHATTAN —Businesses selling fruity alcohol drinks to minors are facing stiffer fines and longer jail sentences after an Upper Manhattan-led crackdown. State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who represents Washington Heights and Inwood, sponsored a New York State Senate bill which seeks to crack down on the fruity booze, known as "nutcrackers."
It was passed Monday. "Study after study has demonstrated that alcohol and minors simply do not mix," Sen. Espaillat said in a press release.
Middle class and working families have always been New York’s economic engine. A steady supply of housing has served to fuel this engine, particularly during harsh fiscal times. With New York on the verge of losing rent laws that protect millions of tenants, there is a serious housing crisis staring middle-class and working families in the eye.