By Dialogo January 01, 2010 Paisito Spanish director Ana Diez presents the drama of two young people who learn about love just as politics in Uruguay turn their world upside down. Xavi is separated from his first love Rosana when Marxist rebels begin plotting an overthrow of Uruguay’s dictatorship in 1973. After 30 years, they find each other in Spain. Sins of My Father Juan Pablo Escobar, who now goes by the name of Sebastián Marroquín, is the son of one of the most powerful Colombian drug traffickers in the early 1990s, Pablo Escobar. Through this documentary, directed by renowned Argentine filmmaker Nicolas Entel, Juan Pablo apologizes for the cruelties of his father. It also presents Escobar’s life through the eyes of his son, one of the victims of the drug lord’s violent empire.
By Dialogo July 06, 2011 A French narcotrafficker sought by Interpol who belongs to the gang of notorious bank robber Antonio Ferrara was arrested near Rio, Brazilian police said on 1 July. “According to the French government, the trafficker belongs to one of the most violent gangs in France” headed by Italian-born Ferrara, a police statement read. Identified as Pedrag Vukomanovic by the Brazilian police, the French trafficker was sought by the international police organization Interpol for his ties to criminals and international drug trafficking. He was arrested the day before in Sao Goncalo, in southeastern Rio state, by a police anti-drug unit. Ferrara’s network “set up a branch in Brazil” that aimed to deliver Latin American cocaine to Europe using mules who would leave the country from the country’s two main cities of Rio and Sao Paulo by plane, according to police. A major crime figure, Ferrara is currently serving a 12-year criminal prison sentence for his spectacular escape from prison in Fresnes, near Paris, in 2003. In January, five of his brothers and 13 other people suspected of trafficking cocaine between Latin American and France were arrested by police in France and Brazil.
In Brazil, their activity began in the 60s, when two officers and two privates successfully concluded the Underwater Demolition Teams course – UDT (currently called Basic Underwater Demolition – Sea, Air and Land – BUD/SEAL), in the United States. As a result of the experience of these pioneers, the Combat Divers Division in the Almirante Castro e Silva Base was created in 1970. Two years later, two more officers and three privates were sent to France, where they received qualification as Combat Nageurs (1972). As a combination of the techniques from the French course, which emphasized on diving operations, with the techniques of the U.S. course, which emphasized on ground operations, and adjusting them to the needs of Brazil’s Navy, by the Admiral Attila Monteiro Aché Training and Instruction Center, CIAMA, the first Brazilian Combat Diver Special Course was held in 1974. In an attempt to adequately fulfill the increasing demands of the squadron and the naval districts, the Combat Divers Division of the Almirante Castro e Silva Base was transformed in 1983 into the Combat Divers Group that was part of the Submarine Force Command. In 1996, the government determined the creation of the Combat Divers Improvement Course for military officers. The first class was formed in December of that year. On December 12, 1997, by Ordinance No. 371, the Minister of the Navy created the Combat Divers Group. The new military organization, activated on March 10, 1998, has a semi-autonomic administration and reports directly to the Submarine Force Command. After successfully completing one of the most rigorous courses of the Armed Forces, the Combat Divers join the GRUMEC, where they begin the second phase of their education. The Combat Diver is incorporated into one of the operational teams and they join the training schedule specific to that team, participating actively in the very detailed planning and preparation phases for each mission. In addition, occasional exchanges and courses are conducted in similar units in other countries: the Chilean and Argentinean Tactical Divers, the Spanish Combat Divers, the American SEAL, the French Combat Nageurs. The GRUMEC also maintains close ties with other military and police national forces that drive special operations, such as the Brazilian Army Special Operations Brigade, Brazilian Airborne Rescue Squadron, Brazilian Marine Special Operations Battalion, Special Police Operations Battalion of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro (BOPE), and the Brazilian Maritime Police Special Unit (NEPOM). As a military organization responsible for executing special operations within the scope of the squadron and permanently comprising the Rapid Deployment Force, it is in perfect synchronization with the new paradigm regarding the deployment of the armed forces in the 21st Century, in view of the reduced structure and subsequent low maintenance cost, when compared to the great employment of flexibility and agility in multiple tasks. For over thirty years, the military members of the GRUMEC have been participating in all squadron amphibious operations: supporting torpedo and missile launches; performing attack exercises on ships from both the squadron and as the district force; participating in riverside operations in the Amazon and the Pantanal, in Mato Grosso; and performing the recovery of ships and oil platforms and hostage rescue exercises. The Brazilian Navy Combat Divers Group, or GRUMEC for its Portuguese name, is a military organization under the Submarine Force Command on the island of Mocanguê, in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, at the headquarters of the Brazilian Squadron. Brazil has achieved an important role in the international scenario because of various important milestones, such as having discovered a pre-salt layer, the self-sufficiency of Brazil’s oil industry, its economic growth, the participation of the Navy in international operations (with NATO), among others. Currently, for its preparation and qualification, the GRUMEC can act in different areas where the Brazilian Navy is present. Whether in the patrol and assessment of Brazilian hostile environments, like the large Amazon rivers, the tortuous rivers of the Pantanal, in Mato Grosso, in the Blue Amazon – the oceanic strip of the Brazilian coast – which is under the responsibility of the Brazilian Navy –, or by contributing to the maintenance of law and order in Haiti, maritime interdiction actions, hostage or facilities recovery and rescue actions, the Brazilian Navy Combat Divers are always ready to fulfill their mission. Following the combat diver’s trend from the most developed navies, such as the United States, Spain, France, Germany, Chile, and Argentina, the GRUMEC has been training in land operations overseas. With a special emphasis given to the GERR/MEC, which since 1985, has been focusing on anti-hijacking operations in a maritime environment and contributing to the protection of many terminals, oil platforms, and ships from the area known as Blue Amazon, an area which encompasses the entire Brazilian maritime platform. The GRUMEC also contributes to the security of the Visit and Inspection Group (GVI) of naval ships, as well as providing support to their training. The GVIs are responsible for inspecting ships and vessels in Brazilian waters. The Combat Divers are also ready, if necessary, to be deployed in actions that will ensure law and order, a fundamental constitutional precept in contemporary democratic states. By Dialogo June 10, 2013 In its organizational operating structure, the GRUMEC has three special operations units, which are responsible for all tasks aside from those related to the recovery and rescue (reconnaissance assessments of the beach, etc.) and the GRUMEC Recovery and Rescue Special Group, responsible for these actions (GERR-MEC). At the conclusion of the Combat Divers course, the troops join the operative units and, after two or three years of experience, they move on to the GEER/MEC, which requires more experienced soldiers due to the nature of its actions. Do they have training in the “caatinga” (arid land in northeastern Brazil) or desert? If not, can they at least do the course by paying? How much is the salary of these great Brazilian troops? Yes, grumec has training in the caatinga and the Amazon rainforest, they are able to survive anywhere in the world, including in the desert … Source: I, I am Brazilian.
By Dialogo August 26, 2013 SAN JOSÉ — Costa Rica’s legislature has voted to allow the guided-missile frigate USS Rentz to dock in Costa Rican waters. The U.S. Navy vessel promptly turned over three prisoners — two Costa Ricans and one Nicaraguan — to Costa Rican authorities along with nearly a ton of cocaine worth $78 million seized from their ship, the Capitán Erson. The Aug. 11 seizure occurred in international waters, 216 nautical miles off Costa Rica’s Cocos Island. It came less than a week after the Rentz’s deployment. The Capitán Erson later sunk during a storm, with the three prisoners and the contraband safely aboard the gunship. “We are very fortunate to have the USS Rentz and embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment on patrol conducting counter-transnational organized crime operations,” 4th Fleet Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris said. “This major seizure in the first week the ship is on station is a clear indicator that illicit activities are taking place and must be addressed.” The USS Rentz was deployed along with other U.S. Coast Guard and Navy ships as part of Operation Martillo. The counternarcotics program is a coordinated aerial and maritime effort among U.S., European and Latin American forces to monitor busy drug trafficking routes throughout the region. USS Rentz is first foreign artillery ship to dock in Costa Rica Since its creation in January 2012, Operation Martillo — which covers 42 million square miles of ocean — has led to the seizure of 318,133 pounds of cocaine and 25,052 pounds of marijuana. In early August, Operation Martillo resulted in several other major drug busts, including the seizure of more than 1,500 pounds of cocaine valued at $24 million. That operation was a joint effort between the British Royal Navy and U.S. law enforcement. Since June, the Costa Rican government has allowed 41 U.S. patrol ships to dock in Costa Rican waters. Costa Rica disbanded its military in 1948, and the docking of the USS Rentz marks the first time an artillery ship has been permitted to put ashore anywhere in the country. Officials say the approval marks a shift in the Costa Rican government toward a firmer stance against drug trafficking, and re-affirms the country’s previous agreements regarding joint patrols. “In reality this is a global problem. The drugs that come through our coasts go on to cause problems in other countries,” Costa Rica’s minister of public security, Mario Zamora, said in a press conference. “We have to respect the fact that this is not just our problem.” Homicides up 22.8 percent in 2013 Though widely considered one of the region’s most stable countries, Costa Rica has seen a sharp increase in drug-related violence in recent years. Homicides during the first half of 2013 increased by 22.8 percent compared to the same period last year, according to Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Police [Organización de Investigación Judicial, or OIJ]. Many of those homicides were drug-related. The jump in violent crime has prompted Costa Rica’s Ministry of Public Security to step up coastal patrols. With only two helicopters, six patrol boats and 11,000 police officers to cover both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, Costa Rica is looking abroad for assistance. In fact, Operation Martillo is just one of several joint patrolling efforts in Central America. In May, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón visited San José to reaffirm Colombian-Costa Rican patrol efforts. During that visit, he offered help to Costa Rica’s National Guard. The United States and Costa Rica have had joint patrolling agreements since 1999.
Goodlette praises section’s legislative involvement Says more lawyers need to run for office Mark D. Killian Managing Editor The legislature could use a few more good lawyers, and the sections of The Florida Bar are a tremendous asset to the legislative process.Those are a two of the topics Rep. Dudley Goodlette, R-Naples, touched on during a wide-ranging speech to the Business Law Section at the Bar’s recent Annual Meeting. He also discussed highlights from this past legislative session, term limits, and his thoughts on the constitutional amendment process.“Without failure, the quality of the work product that comes out of the [Business Law] section and the amount of time and talent contributed by those in this room and many others in this process go unnoted in the legislative arena,” Goodlette said. He added he’s constantly busy educating his legislative colleagues — particularly those who are not lawyers and do not understand how the Bar works — how committed and dedicated section members are to improving the quality of public policy.An example of that commitment, Goodlette said, was demonstrated by the passage this year of Senate Bill 1056, a Business Law Section supported initiative that replaces the 1986 version of the Florida Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act with a 2005 edition. The new law incorporates reforms from the model act developed by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. That includes harmonization of the merger and conversion provisions, to allow the conversion of business entities from one form to another in a one-step process.Goodlette said the legislation will make the state more competitive with the likes of Delaware and Nevada and thanked the section for its work on the bill, including helping him persuade Gov. Jeb Bush to sign it.Goodlette, who has served in the House for seven years and has one more regular session to go before being forced out by term limits, urged lawyers to run for office because of the talent and skills they bring to the legislative process.“It is important to have lawyers that are real lawyers,” Goodlette said. “I happen to be a lawyer who is in the legislature, not a legislator who happens to have a law degree. There is a difference, frankly. My view is we need more lawyers participating in this process.”He said the eight-year term limit passes quickly, so Bar sections must always focus on trying to “encourage other, newer members of the legislature to participate in your legislative agendas, something the Business Law Section does an outstanding job of.”While he will soon be gone, Goodlette said, the section is lucky to have members like Rep. Jack Seiler, a Democrat from Pompano Beach who is a business litigation lawyer, to call upon.Goodlette said this past session was very successful primarily “because the presiding officers of the Senate and the House got along with one another. They actually talked with one another and were civil to one another.”That has not always been the case, he said.“It was the most collegial session I have participated in and the least partisan in the Florida House; and full credit should be given to the Speaker of the House Allan Bense, because of his inclusive style,” Goodlette said, noting there are 84 Republicans and 36 Democrats in the House.“The collegiality of the chamber benefited from that and the work product benefited from that kind of inclusiveness because Republicans don’t have a corner on all the good ideas.”Goodlette said of the state’s $64.7 billion budget, 40 percent is classified as general revenue available for appropriations and the rest is tied up in state and federal trust funds. Of that 40 percent, 35 percent is spent for health and human services, education, transportation, economic development, justice, and general government funding. He said this year there was an unexpected spike in general revenue available, and the legislature used the additional $1.5 billion to address growth management issues, such as transportation, educational facilities, and water supply infrastructure.The legislature also funded 55 of the 110 new judges the Supreme Court sought, which he said was overdue, and anticipates another 55 – or more – will be funded next year. That’s important, Goodlette said, because when courts back up because of a lack of judges and other judicial resources, “it is the business litigation that gets shortchanged in the process.”Criminal and family law matters will always take priority, he said, and the interests of the business community will “get pushed to the bottom when the courts are not adequately staffed and we do not have enough judges in the courtrooms.”Goodlette said more work is needed on how the Florida Constitution is amended because it has “become entirely too easy to pay petition gatherers and others to advance an issue and get it on the ballot.”While he thinks it was a good idea in 1968 to put a provision in the constitution to allow citizens to amend the constitution through the initiative process, it is now being abused by special interests “who know that they can get 481,000 signatures on a petition and get it on the ballot, and it seems in recent years anything that gets on the ballot passes.”This year’s legislature approved two amendments for the November 2006 ballot that will address some of his concerns, he said. One would increase the threshold to pass an amendment from current 50 percent plus one to 60 percent. The other increases term limits from eight years to 12. Goodlette supports both propositions, the latter “in order to generate the kind of leadership we need in a growing state like Florida.”Extending the term limit, he said, will allow “a little more time to cultivate leaders before they become presiding officers.”Goodlette also said he would have liked to see an amendment to allow citizens to change or create statutes through the initiative process, and not just amend the constitution, which should be reserved for basic rights.“Some in the business community have some angst with that notion, but I think it is a pretty good tradeoff,” he said. August 1, 2005 Managing Editor Regular News Goodlette praises section’s legislative involvement
Lawyers in the Legislature March 1, 2006 Regular News Lawyers in the Legislature Campbell wants to give back Gary Blankenship Senior Editor According to Sen. Walter G. “Skip” Campbell, D-Tamarac, it’s all the fault of his wife, Lynn.He was a pre-med student at the University of Florida and they were dating. But according to the future lawyer, Bar Board of Governors member, and state legislator, she didn’t want to wait until he got all the way through medical school to begin a life together.She and her father, a Miami judge, urged him to try law school. So Campbell took the LSAT and said if he did well enough to be accepted at the UF School of Law – the only law school to which he’d applied – then he pursue that course. And he did.Well, there may have been another factor in his change of career choices: “I found out I couldn’t stand blood,” he said with a chuckle.1996, 23 years after getting his law degree, Campbell was a highly successful trial lawyer in Broward County and a veteran member of the Bar Board of Governors, about to announce his candidacy for Bar president. Then a local state Senate seat became available and Campbell faced a choice.“God has given me a lot in life and I don’t come from wealthy parents and I don’t come from a wealthy background and I’ve been very successful,” he said. “I think you have to give back to the community a portion of what you’ve been given.”He had been fulfilling that obligation with Bar work, but the opportunity in state politics caused a reconsideration.“It was a toss-up. Should I stay active in Bar politics or should I go the state route? I went the state route because I thought we needed more lawyers involved in the state system. We still do,” Campbell said.He joined the Senate just as it was transitioning from longtime Democratic control to dominance by the Republicans.“I have been able to work closely with my Republican counterparts and have been able to get chairmanships,” Campbell said. “I think I have done some pretty good legislation on criminal issues and consumer issues, and I think I have been the voice of the people of Florida when it comes to personal issues.”He noted he fought cuts for injured workers in workers’ compensation legislation, worked against limits to medical malpractice damages, and was active on bills affecting payday loan companies, pawn shops, and hate crimes.With an end to his Senate service coming this year because of term limits, Campbell said he was approached to run for attorney general. He is the only Democrat so far, while four Republicans (three of them from the legislature) are running in that party’s primary.“I believe very strongly that to maintain checks and balances in government, you have to have involvement of both political parties,” Campbell said, noting Republicans control both chambers of the legislature, the governorship, and all the Cabinet seats. “I figured I would give back to the community and put my credentials up for the people of the state of Florida to vote for, because this is going to be their lawyer.”Issues in the race start with homeland security. While the governor is the main official charged with that duty, Campbell sees the attorney general as having an important role.“Medicaid fraud is a huge issue, affecting about $1.8 billion of our state budget,” he said. “Dependency court is a huge issue. I think civil rights are very important to many people.. . . I think protecting consumers under the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act is critical because we have people being scammed every day.”And the attorney general must oversee and maintain the effectiveness of the statewide prosecutor, he added.Campbell expects a tough race, noting that the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial contests will get most of the money and media attention in the fall campaign.“The attorney general position is a down ticket item [on the ballot],” he said. “The most important thing for Floridians is to pick a candidate who will represent their interests.”As he leaves the Senate, Campbell hopes more lawyers will consider such public service.“Lawyers are specially equipped in looking at issues, dissecting the problems out of the issues, and coming up with solutions, and that’s all the legislative process is,” he said. “Lawyers can be effective advocates and you’ve got to remember that legislators not only represent their 120,000 or 140,000 citizens, they also represent the entire state. But the state does have divergent issues and you’ve got to be able to advocate for your position.” Saunders values public service Gary Blankenship Senior Editor As a physics major in college, working part time in NASA’s Langley Research Center, Burt Saunders came to a conclusion during his senior year.“I felt that being in a physics lab all my life was not what I wanted to do,” he said. “My older brother had become a lawyer and that got me thinking that might be what I wanted to do.”That led to a 1975 law degree from William and Mary, and in 1978 an LLM from the University of Miami School of Law in international and environmental law. Which in turn, led to a long career in public service in local and state government that Saunders now hopes to turn into service as Florida’s attorney general.As someone who concedes he got into politics almost by accident, the new quest is a bit of an irony.“It’s really the first time I’ve run for political office where I’ve given it a lot of thought in advance,” Saunders said. This is the one office I really want to occupy.“At the time I decided to run. . . I felt that I had better credentials to fill that post than other people who were considering a run for it and I felt that the job is so very important that I needed to really consider throwing my name into the hat. Quite frankly, it’s almost a tailor-made position for me based on what my experience has been.”His public service began as county attorney for Collier County, where he saw a number of problems with that local government.“I decided to run for county commission to set some things straight. I did that for eight years,” Saunders said.He had no plans to run for the legislature, but then his local representative, a 20-year veteran of legislative service, decided to retire, so Saunders decided to make that race. He won and in his first year was named Freshman of the Year by the Florida Association of Counties.After four years, his local state senators stepped down and Saunders moved to the upper chamber.There, working with the Governor’s Office, he sponsored the legislation for the state-federal joint project to restore the Everglades. As chair of the Health Care Committee, he established a subcommittee which investigated Medicaid fraud and led to legislation greatly expanding the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud investigating powers and staff.“We are literally saving hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ dollars not only by going after Medicaid fraud, but by the chilling effect of preventing fraud,” Saunders said. “We made sure that was a high priority and I consider that to be one of my more significant legislative involvements.”Interestingly, though, it’s not legislative accomplishments that Saunders mentions first or brings him the greatest pride from his current post.“One of the things I’ve prided myself on is having the best constituent service possible,” he said. “I’ve got three people working for me who spend all day every day helping constituents. It ranges from helping people with child support issues to helping physicians get their Medicaid licenses. I find that very satisfying.”That’s a view that carries over into his attorney general campaign.“I describe the attorney general as the people’s attorney; the person you can turn to if you’re a victim of identity theft, price gouging, or fraud,” he said. “The attorney general is in a strong position to coordinate law enforcement activities to protect Floridians.”In addition, Saunders said, through the attorney general’s seat on the state Cabinet, the attorney general plays an important policy role in environmental issues.Aside from his work as a county attorney, Saunders has also worked in investment banking, stock brokerage, and real estate consulting businesses, and is currently of counsel to GrayRobinson, P.A.Those legal experiences have helped his legislative career.“The experience of being an attorney is helpful because the legislative position is one of negotiation and compromise and lawyers are trained to negotiate on a variety of levels,” Saunders said. “Their knowledge of how the law works from a practical standpoint is very helpful.”He encourages other members of the legal profession to take the plunge.“I would say to lawyers aspiring to be in the legislature: It is a wonderful institution, the work is inspiring, you can help the lives of millions of Floridians, there are tremendous intellectual challenges with it, and it’s a tremendous experience overall,” Saunders said.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The SupplierIn between juggling nonstop phone calls, eating breakfast at his desk and barking out orders to his assistant, Spider, tattoo tycoon Carlo Fodera, recalls how after he helped lobby New York City to legalize tattooing in 1997, he launched his tattoo supply company to help the influx of new artists. “All the talented guys and ladies could not find equipment on their own,” says Fodera, better known as Coney Island Carlo, who also has a line of spirits of the same name. Back when the 49-year-old started tattooing in ’77, the old timers made scoring needles, ink and other gear tricky. So once the industry went mainstream, he set up Technical Tattoo Supply 15 years ago in West Babylon. He now counts customers worldwide among his clientele, who mostly buy more than 100,000 bottles of ink a year, much of it made on Long Island. He also owns Studio Enigma, a chain of tattoo shops in New York City. “We take pride in making a quality product,” he says. “We have a lot of fun here, but we’re also a serious business.”The ArtistFainters. Requests for massive tattoos shrunk to the size of a quarter. Customers taking off more clothes than required. Covering up homemade tattoos gone bad. After nearly 20 years of tattooing hundreds, if not thousands of people with Brooklyn-style flash at Lone Wolf Tattoo in Bellmore, Ron Bianco, who bought the shop three years ago, has seen it all. “With what we have at our fingertips now, the amount of research you can do while riding an elevator, there’s no reason for someone to get a crappy tattoo,” Bianco says while inking a black griffin across this reporter’s chest. “They should research and know where they’re going and who they’re going to and everyone should have beautiful tattoos.” But, as Bianco puts it: “People get, like, really weird when it’s tattoo time.” There are no-shows. Reality TV fans who think big tattoos only take a half hour. And the guy who requested his then-girlfriend’s name while planning for the inevitable breakup by also bringing a sketch of a car that Bianco later covered it with. Despite his unconventional line of work, he’s living the American dream. “I got two kids, two cats, a wife and a house,” he says between dabs. “They call me ‘Regular Ron.’”The AficionadoShortly after she turned 20, Gigi Becker of Huntington got the itch for her first tattoo, a little red heart on her shoulder. Twenty more tats followed two years later. And, after a lull, an all-out ink-fest broke out five years ago, with work on her legs, arms, neck, abdomen and a large tree reaching from her side to across her back. “I can’t even draw a stick figure,” she jokes. “I pay people to be artistic for me.” A few, like a pink cupcake on her hand, match her friends’. She has a tattoo key to a tattoo heart that is painted on her husband—his only body art. While most people compliment her on her stars, rainbows, fish and owls—often getting more touchy feely than she’d prefer—the 39-year-old office manager still faces the occasional critic. “Oh my God, I can’t believe you did this to your body!” she recalls one woman yelling. “What does your mother think? What are you going to do when you get older!?” As taking thousands of electrically charged needle pricks gives tattoo aficionados thick skin, Becker brushes it off. As for the cost, she echoes signs often found hanging in tattoo shops: “Good tattoos aren’t cheap and cheap tattoos aren’t good.”The RemoverFor someone who owns a tattoo removal shop, perhaps the most striking thing about Bethany Cirlin is how many she has of her own—including one on her arm she’s also having lightened with lasers to prep for a new cover-up tat. “I’ve always been obsessed with tattoos, and anyone who’s had a tattoo has had a bad one,” she says while sitting in the Zen-inspired waiting room of #cleancanvasmoreart at The Laser Spa, formerly a medi-spa before she switched it to tattoo removal full-time this spring. “The fact that it can be taken off is a phenomenon. It used to be permanent.” The lightening process can take up to two years, depending upon immunities, skin tone, placement and ink; blue and green, for example, are tougher. Among the most common tattoos removed are names either misspelled or of ex-lovers. There’s also the occasional regretted racist tattoo. She thinks of her work as therapeutic, but she doesn’t pry. She also offers free removal of radiation-mapping tattoos for cancer survivors—dot-sized markers sometimes required to assist therapists in aiming the radiation. Although the laser is painful, she notes the payoff is worthwhile. “Living with something on your body that you hate—that never goes away,” she says.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The Suffolk SPCA released this image of a dog thrown from a window in Mastic Beach.Authorities have increased the reward for information to $3,000 in the case of a dog that was thrown from a window of a moving truck in Mastic Beach last month.Suffolk County SPCA officials said “Hap” the pit bull has been treated for his injuries and reunited with his family, but investigators are still searching for the suspect that tossed the dog from a 4-foor pickup truck onto the street, leaving the dog with a head wound.A witness reported the incident to authorities. The reward for information leading to an arrest was originally set at $2,000.Anyone with information is asked call the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722. All calls will be kept confidential.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A woman has been arrested for allegedly stabbing her 38-year-old live-in boyfriend to death following a fight outside of their Huntington Station home over the holiday weekend, Suffolk County police said.Kutima Glover, 33, was charged Sunday with first-degree manslaughter.Homicide Squad detectives said Glover fatally stabbed Larry Collins, who officers found suffering from injuring in front of his Wyman Avenue home in the early morning hours of Saturday, July 5.She will be arraigned Monday at First District Court in Central Islip.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The Islanders formally introduced Wednesday the two men who in a couple of years will take over majority control of the hockey franchise, and will be responsible for leading the team through a new era at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.But, before that happens, the Islanders still have one final season to play at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale. And the new duo—Scott Malkin and John Ledecky—will have plenty of time to listen and learn about what it takes to run a franchise that experienced incredible success three decades ago, but has failed to recapture the magic since.“We’re going to be on a listening tour for two years,” Ledecky, the former owner of the Washington Capitals, said during a press conference at Nassau Coliseum.The pair will take over majority control of the franchise in 2016. The team’s current owner Charles Wang, who will transition to minority owner, will call the shots until then. Wang declined to say how much the sale was worth but noted that media reports suggesting he was selling his stake from anywhere between $420 million and $518 million was close.Malkin said he and Ledecky share a “great love for hockey”—a sport that was “fundamental in their upbringing.”“Life has its moments of opportunity and you decide whether you’re going to step forward, and Charles gave us that opportunity and it was a privilege to be in that position,” Malkin, a London-based investor, told more than a dozen reporters in attendance. “And for us, we saw this as a moment where we could embrace things that we believed in and embrace the Islanders and what they stand for.”The Islanders first announced the deal in August, before the NHL completed the ownership transfer.“This isn’t about me or the Islanders or us, actually,” Wang said in his opening remarks, glancing over at Islanders general manager Garth Snow. “We found new partners here, two partners that will be great for the Islanders.”In their first public appearance together as minority owners (for the time being), both Malkin and Ledecky called the partnership with Wang an honor, but said they’d mostly sit on the sidelines until their time comes.Malkin appeared awe-struck at times, smiling incessantly and pledging to use the next two years to soak in as much he can. Ledecky was more audacious, twice mentioning how much he dislikes the reviled Pittsburgh Penguins and prophesying a return to the Islanders glory days, or at the very least acquiring a long-sought fifth Stanley Cup title.The pair left no doubt that this is Wang’s franchise until the transition to majority ownership is completed.“We support what he and Garth are doing on the ice,” Ledecky said. “We are really on a mission to learn and absorb.”“It’s Charles’ vision it’s Charles’ team,” said Malkin.The Islanders new ownership partners Scott Malkin (left) and John Ledecky (right). (Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)The Islanders won four in a row to start the season but have dropped their last two games. The players were greeted to a raucous crowd when they stepped onto the ice for their final home opener at The Old Barn on Oct. 11. The Isles reciprocated by treating the home fans to a 4-3 victory over Carolina.When Wang was asked afterward about the atmosphere at the arena so far this year, and in particular during the home opener, he smiled.“I think it’s great, I love it,” he said. “We’re going to try to do something this year to really say this is what the Islanders are about.”During much of Wang’s tenure, the talk among fans and the press often seesawed between the product on the ice and the fate of the franchise.Wang’s final push came three years ago when he and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano pushed for a $400 million publicly-funded reconstruction of the aging arena, which was shot down by voters.Wang’s ambitious Lighthouse Project, a mixed-used development plan, failed to get full support of the Town of Hempstead. Frustrated at attempts to scale it down, Wang nixed the plan.“I’m like any other Long Islander out here, boy…I’m angry because they could’ve done something for Nassau County, it’s unbelievable we all know, but it wasn’t done,” Wang said when asked about his attempts to secure a new arena. “We can’t keep looking in the back view mirror.”“It was a little bit of hell, but we all lived through it, it’s ok,” he added. “It wasn’t like we went in there in blind, we knew it was hard. It didn’t work. Now let’s move on.”And the team is doing just that. Next year, Long Island’s lone professional sports team will leave Nassau County for the Barclays Center, the home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. A year after that, Malkin and Ledecky will claim majority control.Then what?When asked what their message is to long-suffering Islanders fans, a stone-faced Malkin said: “Fifth ring.”
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Comedian Jim Gaffigan was his usual self-deprecating self Thursday night at NYCB Theatre at Westbury, mocking his own girth and professing his insatiable affection for food, while tossing in several perfectly-timed zingers that tickled the sold-out crowd inside the intimate venue. Under dimmed lights, Gaffigan, who also took time to sign copies of his new book Food: A Love Story, capped the night with another rip-roaring routine about—what else?—Hot Pockets, which he described as a diarrhea-inducing monstrosity that essentially is only good for judging a person’s level of intoxication (aka if you’re really plastered you’ll bravely open the freezer and pop one in the microwave, and then subsequently regret you’re ill-fated decision). The crowd roared upon Gaffigan’s signature high-pitched, drawn-out mention of the frozen turnover. Gaffigan, a seasoned comedian who hails from Indiana, was comfortable on stage—as usual. His jokes about religion, food, his family and everyday life, were well-received. The jokes are only part of what makes Gaffigan a top-notch comedian, however. He is also a polished entertainer who specializes in seamless transitions and understands how to skillfully weave together a perfect narrative, oftentimes using food, whether it be donuts, steak, bread or Hot Pockets, as the glue. What makes Gaffigan so appealing as a comedian is his ability to punctuate one-liners without resorting to profane language. He also genuinely comes off as an everyman, several times discussing his wife and five kids, who he himself picks up from school in New York City. He credited his wife for assisting with his material, but wasn’t afraid to use her to get some laughs. When talking about his wife’s driving ability, he noted that while he’s not a sexist he refuses to allow her behind the wheel when they’re in the car because he doesn’t want to die, but is fine with her driving the kids around. He’s also willing to invoke his children for a good joke. The best was when he talked about how his kids call him on the phone just so they can hear his voice. “Just buy my album,” he deadpanned. Perhaps his best moments came when he ribbed people who carry their dogs around in bags or dress their pups in jackets and walk past homeless people on the streets of New York City who would do anything for a warm, leathery overcoat. He also professed bewilderment at people walking into elevators without questioning the potential consequences, calling the machines “a casket with a string.” Always enjoyable is when Gaffigan turns the jokes on himself. Gaffigan, perhaps best known for his routines about food, said he often has donuts waiting for him inside hotel rooms. “I’m not not going to eat them,” he said to a cacophony of laughs. Gaffigan also mocked his milky-white pigmentation and blonde hair, joking that when he walks around the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum—which he said he wholeheartedly recommends—people point and whisper: “He did it.” Gaffigan shines the brightest when he dishes on food. He revealed that he loves steaks above all else. Steaks, he said, have a steakhouse, while Tuna, well—that only gets a can. Gaffigan also admitted a distaste for fish. The best compliment a plate of fish can get is “It’s not fishy,” he said to a mix of laughs and applause. Gaffigan was nearly through with his performance when he decided to give the audience one final treat. “Hoooot Pooockeeets,” he said in his typical high-pitched tone, as the crowd applauded and smiled.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content Brought To You By Alure Home ImprovementsAs 2015 comes to end, now is the perfect time to make New Year’s resolutions for your home. And thanks to your friends at Alure Home Improvements, we’ll be sure to help you make those resolutions come true!Whether it’s a big project like raising the roof, or a small touch-up job such as adding a new coat of paint, we’ve got it covered. Let us suggest some projects to start you thinking in the right direction.Here’s a suggestion that won’t cost you anything more than your time. Take a good, hard look at everything around you because with the dawn of a new day comes the opportunity to throw what you don’t need away—and to do it without guilt. Begin the New Year with a bang. Don’t cling to the past! Get rid of that clutter and you’ll feel better. You’ll see. From the attic to the closet to the basement to the garage, we’ll help you decide what you can truly live without.For starters, try taking some daring décor risks with your interior decorating. You’ll want to add some color, some charm, something to liven up the space.Step one is to approach your living room and remove everything that’s not nailed down. Put these items on your kitchen table where you can sort through it later. Get rid of all the accessories. Move the furniture so you can dust underneath them. You’ll appreciate that fresh scent.Now you have the chance to reconfigure the space when you replace them. Swap your table lamps, move your bookcases to another wall, if you can. Change the curtains. Rearrange the sofas and couches. Put the TV somewhere else. If you have the energy, repaint the walls and the ceiling, especially if it’s cracked and the paint is peeling. At least, add a plant—the green will do you good.Before you’re done, look at all that stuff you piled on the kitchen table with a very critical eye. If you don’t know where it came from, toss it in the trash. If it’s dusty or broken, what are you waiting for? Get rid of that stuff. If you need moral support, you’re not alone. There’s a reason that one of the hottest self-help books on the bestseller lists this year is Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Having a well-organized home can improve your mood as well as your physical and mental health.Click here to learn more about Alure Home ImprovementsTo think big, we suggest you consider replacing your front door—or your back door—because this well-used portal wears out fast. If it’s old and cracked, it’s an energy-waster, too, besides making a terrible first impression for your visitors. Maybe this is the year to upgrade your kitchen—we’re experts at Alure Home Improvements, with advice to fit every budget—and satisfaction guaranteed. If your family has grown, why not turn your attic into a bedroom? The remodeling construction costs aren’t prohibitive, because you’re just gaining space under the same roof. Looking outdoors. What about getting a deck or a patio in 2016? This way you can expand your home’s living space more economically than by adding a new addition. But if you want to go that ambitious route, we’re there to help.If you want to increase your home’s curb appeal, replace that old garage door. For that matter, why stop there? Consider new siding, whether vinyl or fiber-cement, because it’s low-cost, durable, simple to install, and easy to maintain. There are a host of options just waiting for you to choose from.For the hottest ideas, here’s what’s trending in 2016, according to top designer Robin Wilson, author of Clean Design: Wellness for Your Lifestyle. Quartz stone countertops are increasingly popular because they’re durable, antibacterial and easily maintainable. Setting up an entry foyer bench lets people remove their shoes and outwear when they just come into your house, which confines dirt and toxins.Replacing your kitchen sink with an undermount model can reduce the amount of bacteria that’s usually trapped around the lip of your sink. Since the kitchen is recognized as the “heart of the home,” think about opening up that space so family and friends can easily come together for good times and happy meals. And if the kitchen table has become someone’s de-facto office, it’s time to create a better home office space.Speaking of space, the trouble with buying bulk items from big box stores like BJ’s and Costco is: Where do you put that stuff when you come home? Maybe it’s time to add a pantry off your kitchen where you might also put another refrigerator or freezer for more food storage. If you’re high-tech at work, maybe you want to bring your home into the space age with remote controls that let you manage security, temperature, lights, mechanical window shades and other features from your smart phones when you’re away.High-end construction folks are installing curbless showers to improve accessibility for those who might be in a wheelchair so they can maneuver themselves right into the stall and use a handheld fixture to take a shower. And, last but not least, these days, many people are exploring all the shades of white—they’re at least 96 tints—to do something subtle for a change when a bright color is too bold to feel right.Whatever you resolve to do, remember, we’re here to help at Alure Home Improvements. May your house be a dream come true in 2016!
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police detectives are investigating a hit-and-run crash Monday that killed a medical patient who left an ambulance as it was moving, authorities said.The Monday evening crash in Holtsville occurred while a Hunter EMS ambulance was transporting the patient from Stony Brook University Hospital to Brunswick Hospital Center in Amityville, police said.Police said the patient, Frank Ligrnetta, “exited” the ambulance as it was traveling southbound on Nicolls road, and was struck by a dark-colored sedan that was heading in the same direction.The 51-year-old Bay Shore man was pronounced dead at the scene by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office, police said.The ambulance was impounded for a safety check and the investigation is continuing, according to police.A woman who answered the phone at Hunter EMS said: “We just can’t comment at this time.”Detectives ask anyone who may have witnessed the fatal crash to call the Vehicular Crime Unit at 631-852-6555 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-220-TIPS.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Embed from Getty Images Damn that Bernie Sanders! On the eve of the Iowa caucuses he rolls out a campaign ad using Simon & Garfunkel’s “America” song for the soundtrack and practically moves my bleeding heart to tears. How could he do that? Making me fall for that uplifting sentimental claptrap just as I hardwired my political cynicism into a hybrid I call: “Pragmatic idealism.”I love his ideas, I love the enthusiasm of his supporters—young and old—who know how good it feels to be in a crowd of like-minded people rooting for the same cause. And he uses a song about as old as me to rub it in!What’s Hillary got? Demi Lovato? Katy Perry? These two celebrity songbirds do nothing for me personally. Back in 1992 she and Bill had Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow,” but that’s so yesterday! Can’t Hillary’s team come up with something to really seize the moment and remind us that she’s not only the practical choice, she’s the right choice? She has to be our next President and Bernie has to remain in the Senate with, hopefully, a Democratic majority so he and Sen. Elizabeth Warren can actually get something done for a change. It won’t work with Bernie at the top of the ticket. I just don’t see it.So, I’m trying to come up with some uplifting Hillary campaign songs, and I admit they may be a little morbid considering that I’m thinking about two great music artists who just died, David Bowie and Paul Kantner.I admit I’m conflicted. I want to suggest David Bowie’s “Heroes” but his line “just for one day” might mean that I think her supporters will caucus and split.She’d need longevity if she’s going to last through the race, especially if she loses both Iowa and New Hampshire. Only two Democrats have not won those two contests and gone on to win the nomination—one was Bill Clinton, who skipped it, and the other was George McGovern, who, well, only carried Massachusetts in 1972. I remember it well. That was the first presidential election I could vote in and I was psyched. Father Robert Drinan, the anti-Vietnam War, pro-choice Jesuit priest, was running for his second term in Congress, and I was hanging out at his victory party outside Boston to fulfill a journalism class assignment to pick a candidate and watch what happens on election night. Then the returns came in. Drinan won decisively. But it was a bloodbath for McGovern. The whole nation, except the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts, had voted for that crook, President Richard Nixon. Did I feel alienated? You bet. But I was 19 and naïve—much more naïve than today’s Bernie supporters, I trust.So in keeping with today’s theme, maybe Hillary’s campaign might adopt Bowie’s “I’m Afraid of Americans.” On second thought, that song proved too much even for Bowie. As for his “Suffragette City,” I think it might be a little too sexist (and sexy for a grandma) although it does evoke Hillary’s bid to be the first woman elected president.Personally, I’d cast a vote for Paul Kantner’s “Crown of Creation,” which was also the title of Jefferson Airplane’s third album. He reportedly got inspired to write it after a Democratic operative contacted him in San Francisco in 1968 but it must have proved too radical for Hubert Humphrey’s people. It was probably just a pipe dream anyway. I mean, listen to these lyrics: “In loyalty to their kind, they cannot tolerate our minds. In loyalty to our kind, we cannot tolerate their obstruction!” Maybe someone might suggest Kantner’s “Volunteers” since it has that “look what’s happening out on the streets/got a revolution” line, but that wouldn’t work for Hillary. Maybe it’s a song for Bernie, sorry. Perhaps “Somebody to Love”? I just like to hear Grace Slick sing. Oh well, it’s just a thought.Two years before the Clintons first took the White House, Bernie Sanders first came to Congress in December in 1990 after being the mayor of Burlington, not a huge metropolis. Now that he’s running for president, the question is whether his avowed socialism is a help or a hindrance. His hero, Eugene Debs, the Socialist Party candidate, won almost a million votes in the 1920 election. I’m not sure how many votes Debs would get in a national election this year.Sanders said during a speech last fall at Georgetown University that “almost everything” President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed was “called socialist.” Sanders is definitely right that FDR’s New Deal programs, which saved the country from desperation and ruin, “have become the fabric of our nation and the foundation of the middle class.” And the bane of the conservative Republicans running for president today.The Koch brothers, whose influence over American democracy is the subject of Jane Mayer’s new book, “Dark Money,” have reportedly pledged to raise and spend $889 million on the 2016 elections. That’s just two oligarchs. Meanwhile the Republican Party has consolidated its hold on 32 state governments, which controls gerrymandering and voter registration. Is it a hostile takeover? Depends on your politics. I think Hillary, battle-tested as she is, could handle them but she’ll need a hell of a lot of help and right now she doesn’t have a hold on millennial women under the age of 35, if you can believe the polls.I’m not sure about Bernie’s longevity as a viable candidate when the GOP’s push comes to shove—and they start piling the crap onto his candidacy with all the lies their money can buy. Do Bernie’s supporters have enough moxie to go the distance? I know Hillary does. I’m not sure about him. He’ll need a nationwide movement to make his profound changes stick.I’ve been around long enough to see movements come and go in America, some left their mark for the greater good, but their supporters had to take the long view. It took American women more than a century to get the right to vote. Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition didn’t get him elected but maybe it helped lay the groundwork for Barack Obama. The anti-war movement didn’t stop the Vietnam War but it did kill the draft. President Richard Nixon finally found a way out of that war but he left a disaster behind, and our Vietnam veterans today are still carrying their scars. Now, they join our Iraqi vets, who drafted themselves to answer the call after 9/11. But President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney mislead them into a Mideast quagmire that had nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden. So many lives lost, so much money wasted, and the war goes on in a different way today. And the only winner is fear.Once upon a time the great liberal Democrat, Adlai Stevenson, was running for president against President Dwight Eisenhower when a supporter told him he’d given such an inspiring speech that he would surely “get the votes of all the thinking people.” “Thank you , madam,” he replied, “but I need a majority.” With only a minority behind him, Stevenson failed miserably in 1956. Fortunately, the Republican Party at the time was much more moderate than it is today. That’s why what happens in 2016 is so crucial. And what happens this week in Iowa and next week in New Hampshire is so critical.Fast-forward five decades and, for the left and liberal Democrats, “this tension between committed activists and political realty has worsened significantly,” writes retired Rep. Barney Frank—the first openly gay Congressman—in his recent memoir. The activists believe that the great mass of voters are ready to make a sharp left turn, they just need the right nudge, so to speak. But that’s magical thinking. And I fear it’s what’s driving Bernie’s backers.Barney Frank has seen this liberal/left divide before.“I would not only try to dissuade my ideological allies from nominating unelectable candidates but would also argue against undermining our candidates by insisting that they ignore inconvenient political realities, or by denouncing them as betrayers when they took those realities into account,” Frank recalls. “This aspect of my work was much less fun.”As he says, “liberals are more inclined to hold public demonstrations, in which like-minded people gather to reassure each other of their beliefs… Applauding speakers who denounce the unfairness of a particular situation and rail against the political system is more emotionally satisfying—but very much less effective.”Here’s Frank’s rule: “If you care deeply about an issue, and are engaged in group activity on its behalf that is fun and inspiring and heightens your sense of solidarity with others, you are almost certainly not doing your cause any good.”For those who challenge my pragmatic idealism, I have two words: Ralph Nader. Look how bad it got when Al Gore lost to W, because Nader siphoned off too many votes in Florida. I don’t want Bernie to do that to Hillary.“The white males who used to vote for Democrats have not become philosophical opponents of an active public sector,” says Frank, the quintessential Massachusetts liberal. “They dislike much of what they perceive that the government is doing, but they are even angrier at what it is refusing to do—adopt policies that will reverse the harm they have suffered from the economic shifts of the past decades.“Reversing these voters’ anti-government sentiments is the challenge for liberals,” warns Frank. “It requires measures that will reduce inequality.” He says we do it without raising taxes on the middle class by reducing the military budget and ending criminal penalties for drug users. I know that both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton want to fight inequality, one more directly than the other, one perhaps more effectively than the other.But if the Democrats lose the election in 2016, neither will get the chance and it will only get worse. And then we’ll all be left singing a very sad song indeed.
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Samantha PaxsonIf you participated in CO-OP’s “Year in Review: Top Stories of 2014” webinar, then you’ve already heard our top stories for the year. (If not, click here to download PowerPoint slides and a recording.)Now what?Here are a few ways to click into action – while there’s still time left in the year to make a few headlines:1) Change Your Channels. If you don’t think it’s time to change your channels yet, look closer. According to The Millennial Disruption Index, 68 percent of Millennials say that in five years the way we access money will be totally different; 70 percent say the way we pay for things will be totally different; and 33 percent think they won’t need a bank at all. Three new channels to consider:Remote control your cards.Get P2P now.Fire up real-time payments.– See more at: http://co-opinsightvault.com/2014/12/heard-the-stories-now-click-into-action/#sthash.zWDUHiFn.dpuf continue reading »
A tale of youthful stupidity holds the key to giving honest, genuine financial advice.by: Tim MaurerThe most important event in my life is one of which I was long ashamed.I was an 18-year-old punk with a monumental chip on my shoulder. You know, the kind of kid certain of his indestructability, sure of his immunity from the dangers of self-destructive behavior.At 2:00 a.m. on a random Wednesday morning in June 1994, after a long day and night of double-ended candle-burning, I set out for home in my Plymouth Horizon. At the time, my car was bedecked with stickers loudly displaying the names of late-60s rock bands. No shoes, no seatbelt, no problem.Not even halfway home, I was awakened by the sound of rumble strips, just in time to fully experience my car leaving the road and careening over an embankment. After rolling down the hill, the vehicle settled on its wheels and I, surprisingly, landed in the driver’s seat. But all was not well. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr