SBJSA advocates fear Council will vote to weaken legislation

Mar8 Future Bank of America

Four storefronts on 23rd Street at the corner of Fifth Avenue will soon become a Bank of America. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

The Small Business Congress, which has been pushing hard for the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, is on the offensive, preparing for possible mutations of the bill in the City Council that the SBC fears would render it useless.

Steve Barrison, an attorney and the executive vice president of the SBC, is saying despite new Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s assertions that he wants to see the long-blocked legislation get a hearing, the Devil will be in the details of what Barrison expects will become “a REBNY bill.”

In an email earlier this week, the Small Business Congress founder Sung Soo Kim stated that he is seeking exactly 26 volunteers to convince the Council members who do not support the bill to change their minds.

It may not be easy, though, since technically the SBJSA is dead, Barrison said. This is because the prime sponsor had been Annabel Palma of the Bronx who was term-limited on December 31, 2017.

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Candidate blasts Maloney on Israel, Middle East

Sander Hicks

By Sabina Mollot

In the race for the Congressional seat occupied by Carolyn Maloney, one of two of her Democrat challengers believes there’s a lot she’s wrong about.

Sander Hicks, a political activist who runs a carpentry businesses based in Maspeth, openly admits to being on the offensive. This is after having been advised by supporters, including his father Norman Hicks, a former World Bank economist, to “stop being so nice,” he explained.

Additionally, Hicks, 47, said, although he insisted he is trying to run a positive campaign based on “respect for all religions” (he identifies as Quaker and interfaith) he has also found Maloney to be unresponsive to concerns from constituents like himself.

Maloney, he noted, never directly responded when he called her office about long-classified documents from a Congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks that were finally released in 2016, known as the “28 pages.” Instead, Hicks said, he was passed around from one office employee to the next until, finally a year later, he got a form letter response. However, it wasn’t even on the issue he’d brought up, but about Maloney’s Zadroga Act for 9/11 responder healthcare.

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Two deaths, believed to be suicides, in one day in ST/PCV

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350 First Avenue (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Sabina Mollot

On Sunday, two people died in what appear to be suicides, one in Peter Cooper Village, the other in Stuyvesant Town.

At 8 a.m., police responded to 350 First Avenue, where a 76-year-old woman had plunged to the ground. It was unclear if she had jumped from a window or the roof, but she couldn’t be saved, police said.

At 12:25 p.m., after getting a call about an emotionally disturbed person at 451 East 14th Street, an 18-year-old man was found dead at the scene, the FDNY said. Another person at the location was taken to NYU Hospital in serious condition. Police believe the death was related to chemical fumes, specifically sulphuric acid, that the young man had inhaled. He’d also left behind a note to an associate expressing his intention to harm himself, police said. Police didn’t have information on the person who was taken to the hospital.

Neighbors discussing the tragedies on the ST-PCV Tenants Association’s Facebook page brought up local organizations and efforts aimed at reaching out to seniors and those who are isolated, like Dorot and Samaritans NYC, respectively.

In response to the incidents, Rick Hayduk, general manager of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, said “We too are distraught over the events of Sunday. The community grieves with the deceased’s family and friends; our thoughts and prayers continue to be with them.”

He added that StuyTown Property Services employs a full-time social worker from Mount Sinai Beth Israel who can be found at the Community Center at 449 East 14th Street. The social worker is available for confidential resident consultation.