Tag Archives: harassment

Chutzpah by BLDG Management Co.



Upper East Side Tracy Morisada, is one of the rare New Yorkers who regained her apartment after being evicted.

But reclaiming her tiny studio entailed a terrible, nearly two-year nightmare in which she lost all her possessions, from her passport to her computer.

Her saga illustrates not only the lengths some landlords will go to reclaim rent-stabilized apartments, but how quickly a vulnerable renter can be stripped of all they have. .

Morisada, 81, had been taken to court by her landlord for falling behind on rent and was given more time by a judge to gather up the arrears on her then-$899 a month studio when she was mowed down by a bicycle in Central Park on July 27, 2013.


She was gravely injured, with a traumatic brain injury, multiple rib fractures, a facial bone fracture and other traumas. Despite her condition, she had the presence of mind to tell staff at New York Presbyterian Hospital she was in the midst of a housing court case. A social worker informed her landlord, BLDG Management Co., Inc. by phone and in writing of her condition, requesting her case be postponed.

Instead, BLDG listed her walk-up apartment as available for renovation on Aug. 1. When she failed to appear in court on Aug. 5, the landlord didn’t explain to the judge why she wasn’t’ there. Instead, BLDG obtained an eviction order, and swiftly moved all of Morisada’s possessions — her silk kimono, computer, all her identification, gold jewelry and a prized mink coat (“it was a good one!” she recalled) into a storage facility and began renovations.

Neglecting to tell the judge why Morisada failed to appear constituted “a fraud upon the court,” said Morisada’s lawyer, Jason Blumberg of MFY Legal Services.

Morisada was recuperating in the Mary Manning WalshHome, on York Avenue, when a social worker performed a home inspection on Oct. 25 to make sure she could be discharged safely, and discovered there was no home for Morisada to return to; her apartment had been gutted and was about to be occupied by a new tenant.

Nursing home staff moved swiftly to obtain legal representation for Morisada through a pilot program at The NYC Department of the Aging, hooking her up with MFY Legal Services.

A judge vacated her eviction in March 2014 and ordered that she return, but also ordered her to pay all her back rent. Mary Manning and MFY — hobbled by Morisada’s lack of personal documents — spent a year cobbling together funds to pay the metastasizing rent arrears and enrolling Morisada in programs to supplement her Social Security check so she wouldn’t fall behind again. Because all her belongings had been auctioned off for nonpayment of rent without her knowledge, advocates also had to furnish the vacant unit..

“She got a partially renovated apartment out of it!” said Lawrence Wolf, the lawyer for BLDG Management, who denied that he or his client did anything wrong. As for the judge’s “troubling” finding that BLDG failed to inform the court of Morisada’s hospitalization, Wolf said: “There was a judgment against her and a warrant. She couldn’t pay the rent.” He blamed the nursing home for a lack of vigilance over her belongings saying, “they let her possessions be sold off.”

“Had the landlord not illegally evicted Ms. Morisada, her belongings never would have been at risk,” said Jon Goldberg, a spokesman for Mary Manning. Goldberg called Wolf’s defense “a desperate attempt by the landlord to divert attention away from his own calculated and improper actions and on to those who worked so hard to ensure that her legal rights were protected, get her the financial and other assistance she needed, and get her back to her rightful home.”

Morisada “never would have gotten home without” the efforts of Mary Manning employees, who first filed court papers on her behalf, obtained a Medicaid waiver for her and worked arduously not only to reclaim her home, but her vanished possessions, and, when they couldn’t, filed numerous complaints, added Blumberg.

Her story points out why all vulnerable seniors need court-appointed lawyers in housing cases, said MFY director of development and communications Dolores Schaefer, who is a fan of the “right to counsel” movement. “Landlords are desperate to get these rent stabilized apartments back,” she said, often so that they can hike rents and turn them into market-rate units for new tenants.

The stakes are especially high now because “there’s an emerging trend of demolishing an apartment the minute (landlords) get a tenant out so a judge can’t put (renters) back in,” added Blumberg, who would like sanctions levied upon landlords who do this.

Blumberg is still steaming over BLDG’s “chutzpah” at asking the court to rule that Morisada reimburse BLDG for the unrequested renovation that was claimed to have cost $20,000 to $30,000. (The judge ruled the landlord had “no decent or equitable basis” to request such a thing.)

Morisada, who said she came to the U.S. from Japan in 1963, is relieved to be back in her snug accommodations (“it’s like a dorm room!”) she has occupied for more than 35 years. During her extended nursing home stay, she was the only resident allowed to venture out on her own without an escort. “I had an ankle bracelet!” she said. “I was a three-time escapee! … What bothers me about the nursing home is no one there was thinking about the future. I’m thinking about the future,” she said. And now that she is home, she said, “I can relax.”


Source : ampm 

Hollaback

20130820-230142.jpg

Christine Quinn took a stand against street harassment Monday as a New York-based advocacy organization launched a tool to digitally report offenses to the city council.

Are you a New York victim of street harassment? There’s an app for that.

The Democratic mayoral candidate and current city council speaker held a press conference in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood to help launch an improved app by Hollaback, which will allow victims of street harassment to report incidents via smartphone. The city, which helped fund the app, hopes to work with Hollaback to create a database of incidents and identify problematic areas.

“We’re here today to let New Yorkers – and particularly women and girls – know that people who violate women either by their actions or words won’t be able to hide anymore,” Quinn said. “We will know who they are, what they do, where they do it, and we will put it to an end.”

The Hollaback smartphone app, available for iPhone and Android devices, can allow a victim to anonymously report an incident with just a few clicks. Though reporting an incident to Hollaback does not constitute a police report – that will have to be made separately – the app does record details about incidents, including where they took place and what was said by the harasser. But information from the app can be sent to the New York City council, and specifically to the council member from the district where the harassment took place. New York’s city council allocated $20,000 last year towards creating an expanded version of the app.

MDC says, all of our community activists approaches are being utilized and it all began with harassment and a dog being beat while in a whistleblower arms by the Parks Department.

Source: guardian and ms.epstein

Karma got Silver

20130809-192231.jpg

Arrogant stonewalling under the leadership of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has verged into an unlawful coverup that must bring the end of his reign.
Silver’s longtime top laywer — a key figure in concealing Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment — reportedly defied a subpoena to conceal harassment by yet another Assembly member.

The speaker insists he knew nothing of William Collins’ coverup within a coverup. Take that denial for what it’s worth. At the least, on Silver’s watch, under a culture he fostered, his office deceived a duly authorized investigation.

Remember that it was Silver and his team who failed to properly investigate sexual harassment charges against Lopez in the first place. Instead, they conspired with the once-powerful Brooklyn Democrat to quietly settle the case — using $103,080 of taxpayers’ money while enabling Lopez to victimize yet more young female staffers.

When these facts came out last year, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics launched a probe and hit the Assembly with multiple subpoenas — including a demand for records of any sexual harassment cases not involving Lopez.

Despite Silver’s promise of full cooperation, however, the thousands of pages produced by the Assembly included nary a mention of a 2009 incident involving Assemblyman Micah Kellner — which only came to light last month, after JCOPE had closed the books on Lopez.
As with Lopez, Silver’s Assembly chose to bury the Kellner case rather than refer it the Ethics Committee. Nor, when JCOPE came calling, did they share his 15 pages’ worth of inappropriate computer messages to a female staffer.

The excuse is that the case was not technically covered by the subpoena because the victim never filed a formal complaint. Which is absurd, since everyone, including Silver, now recognizes the case as worthy of inquiry.

Whatever Collins did or did not do, the buck ultimately stops with Silver. Silver presides over a shop where hiding dirt and protecting the powerful is business as usual — and one of the ways that the speaker maintains leverage over his members. That culture has now led someone on Silver’s team to defy an ethics panel that Silver himself helped to establish.

Silver further rigged JCOPE so that his appointees could secretly veto investigations of him and his members — which is how he dodged formal charges in the original Lopez probe.

Assembly Democrats love to posture as champions of women and voted this year to impose tough sexual harassment requirements on private employers.

Yet they have stuck with Silver even as he has been repeatedly caught tolerating mistreatment of female staffers and covering up for perpetrators. Only by finally removing Silver as their speaker can they live down that shame.

Get Out, Homeless Bum

20130801-201422.jpg

MDC is blown away at the city of Tampa Bay. On July 18, the city of Tampa, located in central Florida, passed a new city ordinance that essentially criminalizes homelessness. Item #60, which was passed by the city council by a 4-3 vote, allows police officers to arrest anyone who is found sleeping or “storing personal property” in public. In only two weeks, the result has been increased harassment and jailing of the homeless by the Tampa Police Department.

The draconian legislation was enacted without any plans to create temporary or transitional housing. City officials have instead decided on incarceration as the solution to the massive homeless crisis in Tampa.

According to the 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, Tampa harbors the largest number of homeless people for a mid-sized city in the United States and numbers sixth overall behind Seattle and Las Vegas, with 7,419 living in shelters. However, the same report states that, on average, only two out of five homeless people were actually counted, meaning that there could be as many as 18,500 in Tampa, which had a population of 346,000 in 2011. This means that a staggering 5 percent of Tampa’s population could be homeless.

Charles Todd and Summer Stevens, two homeless residents of Tampa, explain that they are forced to sleep hidden under a bridge, but can only do so when the sun is completely down. Speaking to the WSWS in Lykes Gaslight Square, a city park in downtown Tampa, Todd described the police harassment.

“There are bicycle cops all around this park every day, spying on us, following us everywhere, and hiding behind trees,” he said. “They aren’t watching the roads or the stores—they are watching us. If you even set a bag down, they will take you to jail. You have no other choice.”

Michael Jans, another homeless man, told the WSWS that he left Stockton, California, over a year ago to escape this same problem. “If you’re homeless here in Tampa, you might as well say you’re a communist. It’s a witch hunt out here,” he explained. “The cops hide behind delivery trucks and bushes, spying on us with binoculars and talking to each other over their radios.”

The only other option for the homeless living in Tampa is to seek shelter at the Salvation Army. However, those seeking shelter must pay $10 each night to stay there and are forced to follow religious rules. The waiting list for such shelters purportedly numbers in the hundreds every night, with many being turned away when capacity is filled.

“How are we supposed to pay $10 a night when we can’t get a job? We have no way of taking a shower every night or washing our clothes. No one will hire us, and we can’t panhandle,” Charles Todd told the WSWS. Another Tampa city ordinance passed in November 2011 banned panhandling six days a week, with the exception of Sunday, closing off that means of survival to homeless residents like Todd.

“Once you’re out on the street, you’re done,” Todd explained. “It’s nearly impossible to get out of it.”

Brian McLellan, a homeless man who has already been in jail several times for loitering and panhandling, confirmed what the others explained, that the only options for them are the Salvation Army or jail. “There is no affordable housing here, and there are no jobs for us,” he told the WSWS. “The police won’t talk to us about how to make things better. They just arrest us.”

City council members did acknowledge the fact that shelter space is limited and promised that the law would not be enforced if shelters were unavailable. They also discussed methods for transporting homeless people to shelters outside of city limits, but no plans for that have yet been put into place. MDC hopes the ACLU steps in to protect these people’s civil liberties.

20130801-201432.jpg

Zimmerman Guilty

20130714-124447.jpg

MDC says , Try to imagine the moment when some police officer or court employee hands the gun that killed Trayvon Martin back to George Zimmerman. Will that add another 100lbs of obesity to his already increased hidden guilt? It reminds us of a portly security team that tried the same tactics but was out smarted by a brilliant community activist that spoke out and recorded the interactions every time for civil right constitutional violations.

Michael Moore says, Had a gun-toting Trayvon Martin stalked an unarmed George Zimmerman, and then shot him to death… DO I EVEN NEED TO COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE?

This was the main event playing out now in the courtroom in Sanford, Fla., and live on television, a minute before 10 o’clock. It was playing out fast in the courtroom, just four or five minutes from the time Judge Debra Nelson said, “No outburst on the reading of the verdict” until she told George Zimmerman, “You have no further business in this court.”

So what started on a rainy night in February 2012 when Zimmerman, a wannabe cop with a gun, decided that an unarmed 17-year-old kid named Trayvon Martin was a threat because there had been break-ins around Retreat View Circle, decided Martin was some kind of suspect for the crime of walking around black in a hoodie, ended with a “not guilty” verdict on Saturday night.

The jury of six women did not convict Zimmerman, the shooter, of second-degree murder, and did not convict him of manslaughter. The women went into the jury room to decide Zimmerman’s fate on Friday and came out on Saturday night and decided that the state had not made its case against Zimmerman.

Nelson said no outbursts and she asked for the verdict and Zimmerman and his lawyers stood at about a minute before 10 o’clock and heard “Not guilty.” And maybe four minutes later, Zimmerman was being told that his bond would be returned to him and his GPS ankle monitor would be cut off him and he would be free to go. MDC agrees with the rest of the celebrities and pro athletes on twitter. Victor Cruz said it best, Cruz posted, the following tweet: “Thoroughly confused. Zimmerman doesn’t last a year before the hood catches up to him.”

Really, this was about the time it took for Zimmerman to finish his phone call with the Sanford police dispatcher on the night of Feb. 26, 2012, and the time that his encounter with Trayvon Martin began. The dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was following the kid. Zimmerman said he was. The dispatcher told Zimmerman that he didn’t need to do that.

But he wasn’t just a neighborhood watch guy on this night, oh, no, George Zimmerman was a real cop, just without training or judgment. And even though Trayvon Martin was doing nothing more suspicious than walking down the street with Skittles and a can of Arizona soft drink, Zimmerman is the one who started the chain of events that ended up with him shooting and killing an unarmed kid.

Zimmerman walks now, leaves court a free man, does that in a state with its stand-your-ground laws where you thought the prosecution was fighting a losing game from the start. It no longer matters that Trayvon Martin, unarmed teenager, was supposed to have the same stand-your-ground rights that Zimmerman did. Only it never mattered once they were on the ground and Zimmerman got his gun out and shot him. If you think justice was really served in that courtroom on this night, you were watching the wrong movie.

In closing, lets all sit back now and eagerly wait for the marketing profit machine. Will the lawyers write a book? Will Zimmerman write a book? Who profits from the movie rights? Will there be a Trayvon-Law created to control these fake cops with an underlying stalking-harassment sub law?

Let’s turn this murder into a profit circus …..Yup, watch for it!!!!

Thank you @punkboyinsf: ICYMI: If anyone would like George Zimmerman’s social security number, thank CNN for giving it to us.

SSN: 226-45-9331 #js #YAL #Anonymous

20130714-222945.jpg

HATE

 

Hatred is a poison that fills your body. If you have ever been attacked or violated, this is for YOU .

Sitting alone in the dark corner.
Knees against my chest, head in my hands.
Watching the tears run from eye to floor.
Happiness left my soul, now so dark and cold.

It becomes impossible to think of anything else but the object of your hatred. Sometimes if you don’t encounter the object of your hatred for a length of time, the hatred may dissipate throughout your body. You may be under the impression that the feeling is gone. “It’s NEVER GONE.” The truth is that is has spread like a cancer. It is very important if possible to tell the person who you are angry with how you feel. If this is not possible it might be helpful to discuss your feelings with others. In any case do not let this hatred sit and poison your body.

I lay here at night in a dark silent room, 
Feeling only pain and uncontrollable gloom.
Pictures of the blood flash in my head, 
Pictures of you laying on the floor dead.
Never to come back and mess up my life,
I smile as I wipe your blood from my knife.
Your darkened red blood spills out on the street,
Your Colden heart stop DEAD in its beat,
I think back to all the pain and the hurt,
As I cover your body and spit on the dirt.
From you or you ; I Can no longer run,
And me killing you was my turn for FUN.
Oh how they’ll cry and Oh how they’ll weep,
But I know their Sorrow is ONLY SKIN DEEP.
As I turn to walk down the cold empty street, 
I walk to the rhythm your heart USED to beat.
I think Back to you lying dead on the floor 
And SMILE knowing your heart beats NO MORE!!!!!!!!

 

PARKS DEPARTMENT ABUSE, AGAIN !

 

MDC needs to share another issue with the Parks Enforcement Department.  As we have stated in the past, Captain Edwin Falcon and his staff need to be TERMINATED and FORMERLY CHARGED with several past criminal recorded events.

The PEP, based on verifiable facts and documented evidence, is riddled With systemic structural problems that quite literally not merely allow Corruption and abuse to exist but also and, most importantly, protects and Thereby encourages the wrongdoing PEP Officers. In other words, PEP’s Structural problems allow abuse to flourish.

Dear Editors:
The Parks Enforcement officers in Battery Park City are abusing their authority in a highly disturbing manner. Something needs to be done about it. Generally, my frustration stems from constantly seeing groups of 3-5 of them hanging out instead of actually spreading out patrolling the park, however my writing to you today stems from a far less benign encounter I witnessed two nights ago as three Parks Enforcement officers assaulted a man walking his dogs.

My girlfriend and I were walking our dog around the perimeter of the main lawn in Nelson Rockefeller park in Battery Park City when we noticed three Parks Enforcement officers hanging out chatting with one another. As we continued on our walk, we saw a young couple on the lawn with two small dogs who were running around on the grass. Though you would never know it because the signage in the area is barely existent, dogs are not permitted on the lawn.

The three Parks Enforcement officers noticed the couple with the dogs on the lawn, whistled at them to get their attention and yelled that dogs are not allowed. The couple immediately scooped up the dogs, shouted an apology back and began on their way. This should have been the end of the interaction.

Instead, the three Parks Enforcement officers picked up their pace and yelled for the couple to stop. When the couple stopped, the Parks Enforcement officers’ attention immediately focused on the male dog owner and they demanded to see his identification. The man explained that he was just out walking the dog and didn’t have any ID on him, but that he lived “right over there” (41 River Terrace) and that he was sorry and it wouldn’t happen again. At this point the three officers proceeded to surround the man with his back against a wall as if not carrying an ID in and of itself was somehow suspicious. He asked why they needed his ID and they told him they were writing him a summons. For whatever reason, they paid no attention whatsoever to his female companion but continued to deal with the man in an antagonizing, confrontational, and physically threatening manner. They informed him that he was going to need to provide ID and he again explained that he didn’t have any on him. As they continued to harp on his lack of ID, the man was becoming understandably upset with the situation. The manner in which Parks officers approached him was physically provoking and escalated the situation instead of neutralizing any tension.

At this point, after his explanation of his lack of ID left the interaction at a standstill, the man attempted to terminate the encounter with the Parks Enforcement officers and essentially said, “I don’t know what else to tell you, but I’m going home at this point, this is getting ridiculous.” As he began to walk, the officers physically blocked his way. He sidestepped and they blocked his way again. The officers faces basically lit up at the opportunity to exercise a little physical might and tested the furthest bounds of their authority. The man then proceed to push through them and began walking home. The officers then walked after him and proceeded to grab and attempted to physically restrain him, repeatedly assaulting him in the process. One officer attempted a sort of “take down” maneuver while the other two attempted to restrain the man’s arms, and independently attempted to tackle him. At this point, I dialed 911, asking for immediate NYPD assistance for an assault of a civilian by the three out of control Parks Enforcement officers. There was no question in my mind that if anyone required police assistance, it was the civilian and not the parks officers here. As an officer of the court, I felt a heightened duty to intervene, however before I could, the man, clearly fearful of the the out of control situation, was able to get the Parks Enforcement officers off of him and ran straight for his apartment building. Two of the three Parks Officers proceeded to chase him into his residence.

At this point, more than a dozen Parks Enforcement personnel responded to the man’s apartment building, followed by the NYPD cruiser I requested. Shortly thereafter the man emerged from his building with his ID and was immediately handcuffed by the Parks Enforcement officers and placed in the back of the police car. I witnessed the Parks Enforcement officer explain to his supervisors and the NYPD officers that out of no where the man started cursing and hitting him. This was not even remotely the case. I approached the police officer and explained that I saw the entire encounter unfold and that the PEP officers were not only misrepresenting the encounter entirely, they were the initial aggressors and the source of the escalation.

The Parks Enforcement officers in Battery Park City continuously abuse their position of authority with what seems like little-to-no oversight. Until now I had only read about it in articles (http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_406/batteryparkcity.html) and heard about it anecdotally over the years, however now that I have witnessed it first-hand I am highly concerned about this repeated pattern of behavior. There’s nothing stopping it from being me the next time. No Parks Enforcement officer should ever have to physically lay their hands on anyone to effectuate the issuance of a summons for a dog being on a lawn. If they feel that such an issue requires a physical altercation, then perhaps they are due for retraining or reassignment.

Jared Sheer, Esq.
BPC Resident

CC: The Battery Park City Broadsheet, The Downtown Express, The Tribeca Trib, The Battery Park City Authority, The NYC Parks Department

*Received July 5th

Past articles on the abusive Parks Department (click here) 

 

NYC PARKS DEPARTMENT SAYS F*CK TIBET

MDC supports……… FREE TIBET.

These are the three courageous Tibetans currently outside the UN Headquarters in New York.We hope you support their action and will join us; in condemning the harassment, by the NYC Parks Department and the NYPD, of this dignified and peaceful protest.

The NYC Parks Department has a history of harassment and intimidation.

MDC past articles on the abusive NYC Parks Department