Friday, July 31, 2015

City Hall Protest Against Amnesty International Resolution on Aug. 4


Members, Supporters of the "Not On My Watch” Movement to Denounce Plans for the Decriminalization of Pimps, Brothel Owners and Patrons

WHO: The NYC Faith-Based Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence, NYC Council officials, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women(CATW), Sanctuary for Families, NOW-NYC/NYS, The New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, survivors and other advocacy, grassroots, service organizations and global allies taking action in their own respective cities and countries.

WHAT: New York City organizations and public officials will continue to urge Amnesty International to reject its proposed draft policy which calls for the decriminalization of pimps, brothel owners and buyers of sex. Press conferences/actions will take place simultaneously across the globe, including one in Atlanta spearheaded by Dr. Bernice A. King.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 10:00am –11:00am

WHERE: Steps of New York City Hall

WHY: If passed at Amnesty's International Council Meeting in Dublin (Aug. 7-11), this policy would in effect advocate for the decriminalization of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying — the pillars of a $99 billion global sex industry. Given Amnesty’s influence with governments worldwide, the press conference will outline reasons for deep concern about Amnesty’s push for laws that would render pimps profitable "business people" who sell vulnerable individuals — who overwhelmingly have life histories of gender, racial and economic violence and inequalities — to buyers of sex with impunity. 

The open letter to Amnesty International gathered close to 500 signatures from groups and concerned individuals from over 30 countries.

The campaign signatories are in the thousands. Among them are Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep, Rev. Dr. A. R. Bernard, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Rev. Dr. Bernice King, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anna Quindlen, philanthropists Jennifer and Peter Buffett, poet and human rights activist, Rose Styron and 2008 Amnesty International Human Rights Award winner, Lydia Cacho. Others include: Angela Bassett, Michael Cunningham, Claire Danes, Jonathan Demme, Grace Hightower De Niro, Lena Dunham, Marcia Gay Harden, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Jones, Kevin Kline, Mandy Patinkin, Kyra Sedgwick, Charlize Theron, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and many more. 

The New York City Faith-Based Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence was formed as a call to action to faith-based leaders in the Greater New York area.  The Coalition works to brainstorm ideas, strategize, develop and implement short- and long-term action plans in an effort to yield a decline in fatalities relating to domestic violence and victims of trafficking.  This is accomplished in partnership with government agencies, elected officials, community leaders, law enforcement and service providers as part of their national “Not On My Watch!” movement.

The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) is a non-governmental organization working to end human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls worldwide. CATW engages in advocacy, education, victim services and prevention programs for victims of trafficking and prostitution in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and North America.

Click here to lend your signature to campaign.

Click here to register for free for National Conference: Combatting Human Trafficking & Domestic Violence.

Charleston Church Shooter Pleads Not Guilty to Hate Crimes

Charleston Church Shooter, Dylann Roof, pleaded not guilty to 33 charges related to hate crimes in federal court Friday.

White House Press Briefing with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz joins Spokesman Josh Earnest to brief reporters and respond to their questions on a variety of topics, including the Iran nuclear agreement.

Video link: WH Press Briefing 

Source: C-Span

New York State OGS to Award New Construction Contracts, Announces Bids for 10 Contracts

RoAnn M. Destito, New York State Office of General Services Commissioner, today announced that new construction bids have been awarded in the below counties. The awards are described in the listing below. The contracts are expected to be awarded to the apparent low bidders following review and approval by the State Comptroller's Office.


Awarded To W. L. Kline, Inc. of Binghamton, NY
Description Rehabilitate Vertical Shaft, Bldg. 75
Location Greater Binghamton Health Center, Binghamton, NY
Low Bid $668,800

Awarded To J & K Plumbing and Heating Co., Inc. of Binghamton, NY
Description Rehabilitate Vertical Shaft, Bldg. 75
Location Greater Binghamton Health Center, Binghamton, NY
Low Bid $172,687

Awarded To Arold Construction Co., Inc. of Kingston, NY
Description Rehabilitate Electrical Distribution System
Location Coxsackie Correctional Facility, West Coxsackie, NY
Low Bid $749,820

Awarded To M. Scher & Son, Inc. of Albany, NY
Description Rehabilitate Electrical Distribution System
Location Coxsackie Correctional Facility, West Coxsackie, NY
Low Bid $5,218,000

OGS Announces Upcoming Construction Opportunities

The commissioner also announced bidding for ten construction contracts listed below by county.

Firms interested in additional information or to acquire bid documents should visit the OGS website at and click on the Design & Construction link or call 1-877-OGS-PLAN (1-877-647-7526) or 518-474-0203.


Contract No. 45006-C
Description Replace Windows, Truck Trap Tower A-60
Location Clinton Correctional Facility, Dannemora, NY
Bid Date 9/16/2015
Estimate $100,000 - $250,000


Contract No. 44002
Description Provide Fit-Out of Shell Space, 4th Floor, Building No. 5
Location New York PI, New York, NY
Bid Date 9/2/2015

Contract No. 44002-C
Description Provide Fit-Out of Shell Space, 4th Floor, Building No. 5
Location New York PI, New York, NY
Bid Date 9/2/2015
Estimate $1,000,000 - $2,000,000
Contract No. 44578-C
Description Major Building Renovations for the Manhattan Forensic Relocation
Location Manhattan Psychiatric Center, Wards Island, NY
Bid Date 9/16/2015
Estimate Over $20,000,000


Contract No. 45133-C
Description Remove / Replace Cooling Towers
Location Hughes State Office Building, Syracuse, NY
Bid Date 9/16/2015
Estimate $100,000 - $250,000

Contract No. 45133-E
Description Remove / Replace Cooling Towers
Location Hughes State Office Building, Syracuse, NY
Bid Date 9/16/2015
Estimate $50,000 - $100,000

Contract No. 45133-H
Description Remove / Replace Cooling Towers
Location Hughes State Office Building, Syracuse, NY
Bid Date 9/16/2015
Estimate $250,000 - $500,000

Contract No. 45133-P
Description Remove / Replace Cooling Towers
Location Hughes State Office Building, Syracuse, NY
Bid Date 9/16/2015
Estimate $25,000 - $50,000


Contract No. 44803-E
Description Replace Perimeter Fences, Perimeter Systems & Redirect Drainage
Location Sullivan Correctional Facility, Fallsburg, NY
Bid Date 9/23/2015
Estimate $8,000,000 - $9,000,000


Contract No. Q1617-C
Description Demolish Trailers
Location MacCormick Secure Center, Brooktondale, NY
Bid Date 8/19/2015
Estimate $50,000 - $100,000

The Office of General Services requires the participation of minority and women-owned businesses in its procurement and construction programs and requires that minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) and minority and women employees be given the opportunity to participate.

Additional information about OGS construction and consulting opportunities is available on the OGS website at under the Empire State Builder Newsletter link. The Empire State Builder Newsletter is the Design and Construction Group's public information service. It provides information on construction and consultant contract bidding opportunities, including: construction plans and specifications currently available for purchase; consultant procurement documents available for downloading; a listing of plan purchasers for contracts to be bid or procured; a listing of interested subcontractors, suppliers, and sub-consultants, and bid and procurement results.  

Source:  New York State Office of General Services

West Wing Week: 07/31/15

2020 Vision: Addressing AIDS/HIV in America

Presidential Candidates Speak at the National Urban League Conference

Presidential candidates Dr. Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, former Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) speak at the National Urban League conference in Fort Lauderdale.

Source: C-Span

Defense Department Briefing on Military Operations in Iraq and Syria


Marine Corps Brigadier General Kevin Kilea briefs reporters and responds to their questions about U.S.-led military operations in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

Source: C-Span

Defense Secretary on Issues Facing Military Families

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter delivered remarks on challenges facing children in military and veterans' families. The Military Child Education Coalition hosted the event.

Source: C-Span

"Look Before You Lock" Warning on National Heatstroke Prevention Day

Babies, Toddlers, and Young Children are Injured
or Killed Each Year after Being Left in Hot Vehicles 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today reminded parents and caregivers to “look before you lock” and remain aware of the dangers of leaving children in hot vehicles this summer. As part of National Heatstroke Prevention Day, the Governor and several New York State agencies are raising awareness about the deadly consequences of leaving babies, toddlers, and young kids in cars, and encouraging all New Yorkers to play a role in keeping children safe from heatstroke.

“Warm temperatures and children in parked cars can be a deadly combination and has caused far too many preventable tragedies in New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “As outside temperatures continue to rise, we are urging New Yorkers to take extra precautions and remain aware and alert so we can keep our children safe and out of harm's way.”

More than 30 children, including one in New York State, died from heatstroke after being left in hot vehicles in 2014. Nationally, eight children have already died this year. 

More than 630 children in the United States have died from heatstroke since 1998. 

More than half of those children were forgotten in vehicles; nearly 30 percent gained access by themselves and became trapped; and 17 percent were left by adults not fully aware of the dangers.  

In just ten minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees, and rolling down windows often does little to cool the car down. 

Heatstroke can happen on a cloudy day, and can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees. 
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said, “There is no safe length of time, or any good reason, to leave a child in a parked car, especially in the summer when the risks are so high. Drivers across the state should take every precaution to prevent injuries and deaths to our most vulnerable New Yorkers. It is critical that anyone transporting a child takes precautionary measures that may save a life this summer.”

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “No child should ever die from heatstroke as a result of being left in a hot car. Simple precautionary steps can prevent these tragedies from ever happening. But busy parents and caretakers may require routine reminders to remove small children from parked vehicles.”

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) recently released a video, which can be viewed here, titled, “Keep kids out of hot cars!” to raise awareness of the issue.

Health officials recommend that parents and caregivers follow these tips to keep their children safe from heatstroke, and from being left alone in a hot vehicle: 

Ask your child care provider to call you if your child doesn’t show up as expected, especially if there is a change of routine. 

Set a reminder or alarm on your cell phone to remind you to drop your child off at school, or have a loved one call you to confirm that your child was dropped off or picked up. This is especially important if your routine changes, or if you are tired or overwhelmed.

Put a “sticky” note where you will see it while in your car – on your dash or another spot. It will remind you where your children are and when to pick them up or drop them off. 

New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Acting Commissioner Sheila Poole said, “It’s important to look before you lock. Make a habit of checking the back seat before walking away from your car. Infants and little children are particularly sensitive to extreme heat and their body temperatures can increase three to five times as quickly as an adult’s if they are left in a hot vehicle. Put an item you need at your final destination – such as a purse, wallet or briefcase – next to your child so you’ll have to check the back seat when you park the car.”

Anyone who sees a child alone in a hot car should not wait more than a few minutes for the driver to return, and should

Call 911, get the child out of the car, and spray the child with cool water if possible.

Stay with the child until help arrives, and have someone else search for the driver or ask the facility to page them.

Be aware of the signs of heatstroke: Red, hot, and moist or dry skin, no sweating, abnormal pulse, nausea and confusion or strange behavior.
New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor/Inspector General Patricia E. Gunning said, “When temperatures soar we are often reminded of the dangers of leaving children alone in cars, but people may not realize that adults with disabilities or special needs who are left in a vehicle under the same conditions may not be able to seek help for themselves.”

The Justice Center developed a new resource to raise awareness of this warm weather danger. Its Spotlight on Prevention toolkit includes a poster and video gallery on heatstroke dangers, a hang tag and vehicle inspection safety tips that can be used by drivers, transport aides, and the public to prevent an accidental tragedy from occurring.

In addition, a nationwide social media campaign, organized by NHTSA to highlight the importance of heatstroke prevention, is currently running on all major social media channels utilizing the hashtags #heatstrokekills and #checkforbaby. 

Source: Press Office, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

The Power of the Pen: S. 971, S.984 Signed into Law

Statement by the Press Secretary on S. 971 and S.984

On Thursday, July 30, 2015, the President signed into law:
S. 971, the "Medicare Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Improvement Act of 2015," which extends the period of time that a project may operate under an existing Medicare demonstration program that tests incentive payments for teams of medical providers; and
S. 984, the "Steve Gleason Act of 2015," which revises Medicare payments for speech-generating devices that supplement or replace speech for individuals who can no longer speak or are severely speech-impaired.

The following was received at the From The G-Man office on July 31, at 1:05 p.m. 

On Friday, July 31, 2015, the President signed into law:
H.R. 3236, the "Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015," which extends through October 29, 2015, authority and funding for the Department of Transportation's surface transportation programs and transfers $8.1 billion from the Treasury General Fund to the Highway Trust Fund; and provides resource flexibility to the Department of Veterans Affairs for health care services and makes a number of changes to the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act.

Source: The White House Press Office

"Flashback Friday": 220 U.S. Marines, 21 Service Members Killed in Beirut Bombing (1983)

The Navy's 1983 report on the Beirut Marine Barracks bombing, including homecoming for the wounded, and a memorial for those killed.

Source: Navy Marine Corps News

Trailblazers in Black History: Jim Brown, NFL Runnning Back

Today in History: July 31st

Donald Trump Leading the Way in New Poll

Just as he arrives in Scotland at his golf course which is hosting the women's British Open, Donald Trump finds himself atop a new poll amongst 2016 GOP candidates.

James Woods Sues Twitter Troll for $10 Million Over 'Cocaine Addict' Tweet

The actor is taking a stand against a Twitter troll for allegedly tweeting malicious and false accusations.