Street co-named in honor of MS 104 teacher

(Pictured L-R) Will Weder, Suzanne Jacobson, Greg Lambert, Michelle D. Winfield, Louise Dankberg (District Leader), Laura F. Koestler, State Senator Brad Hoylman (at the event but not spictured) Pat Levenson, Angie Perkins and Claude L. Winfield, son-in-law. (Photo by Patrick Julien)

By Michelle D. Winfield

On Sunday, September 17, members from the Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club and other community residents gathered at the northwest corner of West 71st Street and Columbus Avenue to unveil a street sign co-named for the late MS 104/Simon Baruch Middle School teacher Ponsie B. Hillman. New York State Justice Robert R. Reed moderated the program inside the Hargrave Senior Center. Students from the National Dance Institute, members of the Celebration Team, danced to the theme “Spanish Harlem.”

Hillman was a mathematics teacher at Simon Baruch for 10 years. She died in 2008. Hillman was being honored for her work in the civil rights movement as an educator and labor leader at the United Federation of Teachers and the NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. At the ceremony, letters were received by former Mayor David N. Dinkins, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and former President Barack Obama. Congress Member Jerry Nadler prepared extension remarks in honor of Hillman.

The great-granddaughter of Hillman, Sophie Amara Ponsie, helped unveil the street sign, Mrs. Ponsie B. Hillman Way.

Michelle D. Winfield is the State Committeewoman from the 74th Assembly District and the daughter of Ponsie B. Hillman.

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Hoylman hopes to unmask LLCs

State Senator Brad Hoylman

By Sabina Mollot

State Senator Brad Hoylman is hoping to shine some light into the shadowy world of limited liability corporations which, under current New York law, do not have to provide names or addresses of their owners when the companies are registered. Because of the mysterious nature of LLCs, they can be used to give seemingly endless campaign contributions as well as hide illegal activities like tax evasion and money laundering. To combat the money laundering issue, which has also been linked to terror funding, legislation has already been introduced at the federal level by Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, and Hoylman said his own bill is modeled after that one.

Hoylman’s legislation, announced, on Monday, would:

  • Make it mandatory for LLCs organized in New York or that do business in the state to disclose who their owners as well as provide a current residential or business address
  • Require the creation and maintenance of a publicly available database of those LLCs and their owners
  • Impose penalties that range from ten thousand dollars in fines to three years in prison for LLC owners who knowingly provide false, incomplete or outdated information.

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Mayor grilled on garage

Council Member Dan Garodnick and Mayor Bill de Blasio at a town hall on Tuesday (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

On Tuesday, the mayor was grilled about the proposed sanitation garage for East 25th Street by neighbors who attended a town hall.

The hotly-contested issue was the topic of discussion at numerous Community Board 6 meetings when it was first announced in 2012 but the plan has stalled in the last two years, and Mayor de Blasio said at the town hall, which was also hosted by Council Member Dan Garodnick, that the issue will be reviewed again once the next term for City Council begins.

“The fundamental problem is that the facilities are concentrated in Lower Manhattan so we need some kind of facility to serve this area and so far this seems like the most viable site,” he said. “But there should be a real conversation about what the community needs.”

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