Tuesday, February, 19, 2013

Coney Island School Bus YardNYC  public school bus drivers of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, serving the largest school district in the nation, will be reporting back to work  from their strike Wednesday just in time for the kids to return to school after mid-winter recess. Drivers for non-public schools will start Tuesday. All in all the city spent about $20.6 million in transit cards, taxis and gas for tens 0f thousands of kids to get to school during the month long bus strike, but saved an estimated $80 million by not having to pay bus companies during the strike, which started over the bus drivers’ job protection issues. So don’t cry for the City, Argentina.

Union leaders took heart over a letter written by five Democrats – City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, City Comptroller John Liu, former City Comptroller Bill Thompson and former Councilman Sal Albanese – all vying for the mayoral seat after Bloomberg vacates, asking them to return to work proming to revisit the job security issue if any of them are elected. That’s a big “IF”. ♦

space heater_mainHow many tragic space heater fires have to occur before authorities crack the whip on landlords who refuse to provide heat for their tenants during the winter? Space heaters accounted for 32% of home heating fires and 80% of home heating fire deaths. What should you do if your landlord does not supply appropriate heat for the winter months for which they are obligated? According to the HPD, the following:

1. Contact your landlord, managing agent, or super to report the problem. If you’re not sure whom to call, check your lease for a name and contact number.
2. File a complaint with the City’s Citizen Service Center by calling 311. The Center will take the following action to get the heating problem resolved:
3. The Center will try on your behalf to contact the landlord or managing agent to get the heat working properly.
4. If not successful, then the Center will send one of its own housing inspectors to your apartment. The Center won’t inform the landlord of the time of inspection. The inspector will issue violations to the landlord if he determines heat is lacking. If the inspector determines that the heating problem isn’t limited to your apartment, he or she may issue a building-wide violation.
5. If, after receiving violations, the landlord doesn’t fix the problem, HPD’s Emergency Repair Program may use in-house staff and/or outside contractors to perform needed repairs to restore the heat and/or hot water. The cost of these repairs will be charged to the landlord, not to you.
voting_rights_act_lbj_ap_605President Obama is pushing for more vigorous enforcement of the Voting Rights Act following  the even more vigorous  attempt by the Republican Party to disenfranchise voters during the primaries back in November 2012. The, now universal, symbol for the attempted disenfranchisement, 102 y.o. Desiline Victor from Miami, Florida, who stood in line for three hours and made two trips to the polls in order to vote last November, was honored by the President during his State of the Union Address  last Tuesday for her inspiring efforts.
The fear is that a conservative ruling will strike down one of the core elements of the landmark 1965 law, the 15th amendment, that guarantees African Americans and other minorities the right to vote. Looks like the Tea Party is getting the South to do their dirty work for them. ♦

robin roberts returnsAnd WELCOME BACK ROBIN ROBERTS!

At five months to the day after receiving a bone marrow transplant, Robin Roberts will be back on the Good Morning America anchor desk Wednesday morning. And she’ll be making a lot of folks very uncomfortable.

Not because she’ll be sporting her  post-surgery baldie, offset with impeccable studio make-up; or that she’ll refuse to allow anyone to pity her or offer up condolences on her condition; or that her disposition will not be one of resignation or victimization.

She’ll be unnerving a lot of people because she’ll have that almost blinding, power-filled aura of a woman who has consistently looked that SOB Death in its face and sang, “I     a   m   tell-in’ youuuu, I’M NOT GOIN’!!!” (yeah, the Dream Girls song : ) ♦

Later pilgrims…




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Amy Conton is a freelance writer and graphic designer living in New York, USA.


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