Robo-call prevention bill passes in NY Senate committee

Mar28 Hoylman robocall bill

State Senator Brad Hoylman

On Tuesday, Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou announced that a bill of theirs aimed at banning robo-calls in the state of New York has passed in the Senate Committee.

The Robocall Prevention Act came in response to the scourge of the record number of robocalls placed in 2018, a total of 47.8 billion nationwide.

If signed into law, the RPA would:

  • Prohibit any person or entity from making robocalls to any telephone number owned by a person in New York State, unless for emergency purposes or with the prior express consent of the call recipient;
  • Require telephone service companies to have technology available that would block unwanted robocalls, free of charge to the consumer;
  • Give the State Attorney General new enforcement powers on robocalls and authorize new civil penalties of up to $2,000 per robocall, up to $20,000 for calls placed in violation of the law within a continuous 72-hour period; and
  • Grant New Yorkers a private right of action to go after violators themselves, and allow courts to award treble damages for those who knowingly violate the law.

“There isn’t an issue I hear more about from constituents than the proliferation of robocalls,” said Hoylman. “These calls aren’t just annoying — they’re dangerous, and often used to defraud unsuspecting consumers, seniors, and vulnerable New Yorkers.”

Hoylman first sponsored legislation last May.

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Stuyvesant Town residents slam re-designed 20th Street

Community residents attend a meeting that ended up focusing on the state of the recently reconfigured 20th Street. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village residents are fed up with the changes to East 20th Street and demanded that the street be returned to its pre-L-shutdown state before the city begins work on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project that will affect the roadway.

Tenants expressed their grievances about the state of the street at a recent meeting hosted by the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association. There, the Department of Design and Construction offered updates about the resiliency plan, which is intended to provide flood protection for the East Side in the event of another Hurricane Sandy.

Department of Design and Construction associate project manager Eric Ilijevich explained at the meeting that there is a structure that will likely be placed on East 20th Street near Avenue C that will help improve drainage during a flood event. Although this is not a new component to the plan, residents had concerns about the container due to the other changes that the street has undergone.

“Twentieth Street is being condemned by everything that you guys are planning,” Stuy Town resident Tom Nonnon said. “You need more community involvement.”

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Letters to the editor, Mar. 28

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Pricing won’t help with congestion

To the editor:

Apparently April Fool’s Day is Judgment Day for congestion fees here in New York City. It is the day, following Mr. de Blasio on WNYC, when wisdom will be brought to bear and traffic congestion will be made a thing of the past.

Unfortunately, while congestion fees may help the cash-strapped MTA, the practice will do nothing for congestion… and we all know it!

The reason: Traffic congestion was not caused by a cash shortage in the MTA. Congestion is an above-ground problem, and no amount of MTA money, and no amount of on-time public service will get at its causes. The first cause was the deliberate increase years ago in the number of yellow cabs. The second cause is the number and sizes of Uber and Lyft vehicles that found their way onto our streets — 100,000 if current figures are correct. And finally, though not causal, the introduction of bike lanes has squeezed cars, cabs, vans, trucks, limos and buses into an already crowded center-of-the-road.

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