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Violent crime declined dramatically in NYC under Mayor David Dinkins' community policing policy called Safe Streets, Safe Cities.  We need better police policies, ones like this that have been proven to work.

In light of Hillary Clinton's speech today, introduced by former Mayor David Dinkins, I expanded a comment I posted yesterday with statistics and links about the success of community policing in reducing violent crime in NYC and the real Dinkins crime record. People need some facts about the real record of community policing and resources to use in this very important discussion of violent crime, police behavior and relations with the communities they serve, over-militarization, abuse, bias, etc.  


Did you know the facts about Community Policing in NYC?

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Don't let Hurricane Sandy disenfranchise you. We need every vote!

Offices are OPEN over the weekend!  You can walk in and VOTE NOW during the extended weekend hours and on Monday, if you will be away, think you will be away, or have storm-related issues getting to the polling place on Tuesday.

The NY State Board of Elections and the NYC Board of Elections have added hours for IN-PERSON absentee voting.

This information was tacked on to my earlier diary  Volunteers needed in NYC but it might get lost, so. . .

Locations and phone numbers below the fold. Please, help your neighbors vote!

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Imagine being alone in the dark for days without news, water or heat. Frightened, not knowing what was going on--perhaps thinking you were forgotten and left to your fate, alone.

For some elderly and shut-ins, especially in large elevator buildings without power, the volunteer who visited yesterday was the first human contact or aid since Sandy hit.

Volunteer TODAY, to check on residents of the Lower East Side (LES) and Stuyvesant Town, provide food, water, and other assistance. If you can help, even a couple of hours, details and contacts are below. People with gassed-up vehicles are needed to drive volunteers and suplies too.

Details and more volunteer opportunities in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, below.

UPDATE: ALSO below, in-person absentee voting info, hours and locations. Don't let Sandy disenfranchise you!

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The election activities of the infamous Koch Brothers raise questions and concern about the unlimited PAC $$$ unleashed by the Citizens United ruling. Even puppets and action figures are worried about the nefarious influence of these billionaires.

This 6 minute video, starring Vanilla the monkey speaking in surprisingly strong language, calls for all of us puppets and little guys to stand up to the Koch Brothers Bullies  -- not for young children!

Disclaimer: A friend emailed me the link to this cute video this morning. I have no other connection to Vanilla or the Greenwald documentary.

Link the documentary website: Koch Brothers Exposed and some links to info about Koch Bros and AFP election activities below. Just to get you started . . .

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September 11, 2001 was primary day in NYC.
I was at my desk on the top floor of a 6 story building in the East Village with the news on, watching very confused reporting about a fire at the World Trade Center. My partner-husband was out to vote early as our PR office was gearing up for a media announcement we were to release later in the morning. The lack of facts and anchor yacking was irritating. So I just went up on the roof to see for myself, since it was a remarkably clear day and we are less than 2 miles from WTC with unobstructed view.

More of my story below the fold. Everyone, New Yorkers and all Americans, has a loss, or story, or lesson, or photo to share from that day. Please share yours in the comments.  

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My nephew John Knefel was arrested yesterday covering the post-Goldman Sachs OWS protest at the Winter Garden atrium in NYC which, like Zuccotti Park, is a public space owned by Brookfield Properties. (There was dancing, a drum, etc. All peaceful and rather joyful looking.) He is still at Central Booking in NYC this evening.

John was roughly handled, thrown to the floor. Dramatic John Knefel arrest photo According to police he was resisting arrest simply because he did not have an official press pass. "> His arrest begins about 6:30

John has not yet been charged with anything and we don't think he has seen an attorney yet. We're concerned for him, and outraged that he was so violently arrested, thrown to the marble floor. He was covering and filming, and had not done anything wrong. 17 others were also arrested, possibly more people in particular who were trying to cover the actions of the NYPD.

Read Molly Knefel's account of the protest and seeing her brother arrested at Salon: Busted for Tweeting cross posted on Michael Moore's blog.

UPDATE: Molly Knefel was just on Keith Olbermann and is headed back to Central Booking. No news about John yet.
Molly and Keith

Update 2: Wow, rec list. Thank you! And please keep a good thought for John Knefel and the others arrested yesterday in NY and elsewhere across the country.

Update 3: JOHN Knefel is OUT! Along with the others arrested yesterday.
John says: "37 hours w/#NYPD Pled Not Guilty. First response: See you all d17. Thanks for all the love everybody. Solidarity forever. #OWS"

UPDATE 4: Read John's account at Salon My 37 Hours with the NYPD Why it is important for occupiers to see the inside of the prison-industrial complex, by John Knefel

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MsNBC: "Isn't Occupy Wall Street more trouble than it's worth? Questions today about whether the movement needs to regroup after accusations that key Occupy sites have become a 'magnet for criminals and sex offenders.'" Thomas Roberts, MsNBC. This outrageous framing and some people say "journalism" continued through the 11:00 hour and right through his interview with the excellent Naomi Wolf. CALL THEM: 212-664-5222

This really is an urgent call to action. YOU can be the OWS media relations team. Not to be a spokesperson for OWS, but to keep the reporting about OWS factual, fair, and honest.

Yesterday, "journalists" devotedly parroted Mayor Bloomberg's official line about clearing Zuccotti Park, repeating unverified and apparently even uninvestigated claims of crime, disease, immanent public health dangers, etc. that --according to Mayor Bloomberg--required the immediate, no-notice, violent destruction of the encampment and personal belongings. This despite the fact that many reporters were RESTRAINED BY NYPD from actually seeing what was going on, and some were even arrested. Two news helicopters were prevented from taking off. (Other kos diaries and thousands of news stories covered the NYPD's interference with the "free" press. Just google.)

My question to the news organizations is, what are you going to DO about the NYPD interference? How can you report the official line, when you have not investigated and were prevented from first-hand reporting? How do you put it out, let alone expect people to swallow this?

It is simply not honest to refer to police in riot gear using batons to attack non-violent protestors who never fought back, as a "violent encounter between police and protestors!"

THIS diary is about how to PUSH BACK on the lazy, complacent, biased, safe and fearful coverage we are being handed by, frankly, a yellow-bellied modern journalism.

THIS diary calls you to SAVE our FOURTH ESTATE from the pale, diminished, comfortable-to-cowardly, corporate-owned "profession" that domestic news reporting has become ion the major news outlets.

Come ON now!



Will you call the media on their coverage of OWS?

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Last night Eureka, CA police tore down Occupy signs, injured and arrested at least one peaceful demonstrator. Another demonstrator was also injured. I received email from Jack Nounnan of Occupy Eureka this AM with details and video, he asked me to post it here for Kossacks who would like to help.

Occupy Eureka's news and the video are below. They ask people to call the Eureka police and, if you are in the area, come to 5th & I to support OE. Or, go to the Courthouse tomorrow beginning at noon. See info from Occupy Eureka below.

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NEWSFLASH: There's an election on Tuesday, Nov 8. No it's not for President, but it IS an election and Democrats must VOTE OUR VALUES in massive numbers, no matter what obstacles are in the way.

Why does Tuesday's election matter? Thanks to Occupy Wall Street, we 99% have the attention of the media, the President and Congress. But some Democrats are hovering on the sidelines and the news media are bending over backwards to suggest that the 99% movement will achieve nothing and just melt away, because there are no unified demands or organized political component.

Well, let's give it to them!

Massive voter turnout in an off-year election, coupled (finally) with action in the streets, will send a powerful message to our leaders -- in the form they best understand and most fear:
We are engaged.
Put the People First
Or else!

Follow below for my rant 'er, reasons, and give us yours. WHY should people in your state and town VOTE on Tuesday! Recalls, special elections, local issues.


WILL you vote on Tuesday?

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We finally got out of our mountain hollow in NY's Catskill Park yesterday afternoon.

We'd been stranded since Sunday the 28th as our 2-mile long country road was washed out in several places; two washouts more than 200 feet long. ATVs and then big 4WDs were able to get through sooner than our passenger car. This little road and the trout stream it follows are sandwiched between two of the Catskill high peaks. These are ancient mountains so "high peaks" is a relative term, here meaning over 3500 feet. The historic flooding downstream began in our mountain creeks.

The Irene flood was reported as "far worse than the 500 year flood of 1996." That's two 500 year floods in fifteen years, with several 100 year floods in the interim. This isn't just really bad luck in one locale. Things are changing here and we will all need to adapt. People really can't hide from the reality of climate change any longer. The NE Climate Change Impact Assessment predicts more, bigger and more intense precipitation "events" for us here.

No one died on our road, or was even injured. No houses were swept away. Power was restored on Thursday night and we never lost simple phone service, so we are indeed the lucky ones. I'm sorry to say, as I write it's raining again. We put the washer & dryer up on 2x4s again. Sigh. Now we understand that mid-week we may get the rain that should have gone to Texas.

This diary is in honor of the self-sufficient, generous and quietly heroic people of the Catskill Mountains. And the government officials, workers and community volunteers who have responded to this disaster the way Americans hope and expect.

Our part of this story is small and not so dramatic, but I'm very proud of the way my New York neighbors responded. See our very local story below.


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This peer-reviewed study by Duke University researchers was conducted in Marcellus and Utica Shale gas drilling regions of PA and NY. It was published Monday, 5/9 in PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the US.

Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing by Stephen G. Osborn, Avner Vengosh, Nathaniel R. Warner, and Robert B. Jackson

“Our results show evidence for methane contamination of shallow drinking water systems in at least three areas of the region and suggest important environmental risks accompanying shale gas exploration worldwide,”

UPDATE: Gas industry smacks back. 3 posts below the fold, including: researchers’ aggressive campaign; lack of expertise and frighteningly small data set; it was insupportable; that is a stretch; ... don’t qualify as evidence for anything; deliberate effort to imply hydraulic fracturing causes every problem. Just the beginning, sigh.

I wasn't planning to diary this but several hours went by and I thought it was too important to leave unposted. The gas industry will try to attack the researchers, debunk the study or minimize its influence, I'm sure. Linking specific gas mining activities such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to contamination of specific water wells has been elusive and prohibitively expensive for individual homeowners; to date regulators have been all too quick to adopt industry claims that there is no evidence of contamination of even one single well.

Research like this is needed to force regulators and governmental agencies to act to prevent danger to human health and property as well as potential environmental harm and additional greenhouse gas release. This study will be very welcome to people trying to get meaningful regulations put in place before the industry's Marcellus Shale gas rush overwhelms us.

UPDATE: ACTION STEPS in this diary from Sunday on fresh water withdrawal for hydro fracking also contains many links to maps, information and articles. Action needed TODAY in advance of the Delaware River Basin Commission vote tomorrow to allow XTO Energy to take millions of gallons of clean, fresh water for hydrofracking.

News coverage of the new study below the fold.

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ExxonMobile has a sneaky fracking plan for the mighty and scenic  DELAWARE RIVER that supplies the drinking water for more than 15 million Americans, including in NYC and Philadelphia.    

ExxonMobil subsidiary XTO Energy has applied for a permit to take 250,000 gallons of water every day for natural gas development, HYDRO FRACKING, in Broome and Delaware Counties of New York, just from the Oquaga Creek, a native trout stream that flows to the West Branch of the Delaware River. The vote and hearing were hastily scheduled for this Wednesday, May 11 at a Delaware River Basin Commission meeting in West Trenton, NJ, 4 hours away from the site of withdrawal. DRBC is the Federal/State agency that regulates the 13,500 square mile Delaware River Basin that stretches from NY’s Delaware County south to the Delaware Bay. The DRBC, whose members include the Army Corps of Engineers, Commission Chairman DE Gov. Jack Markall, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, PA Gov. Tom Corbett, NJ Gov. Chris Christie, has the legal authority over activities that may substantially affect water resources within the Basin.

The Delaware is the longest un-dammed river east of the Mississippi, flowing freely for 330 miles. It begins in New York and flows through Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to the Atlantic Ocean. The Upper Delaware was named America's most endangered river of 2010 because of the Marcellus gas rush.

Last month NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman threatened to sue the Federal government over (lack of) hydrofracking regulations.

ACTION steps below the fold. Primer on fracking with many links below that.

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