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Archive for March, 2010

2010 Census: Be Counted

Posted by admin On March - 24 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Immigrants Urged to Complete the Forms

When the Census was last conducted in 2000 the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens were ranked among the worst counted places in New York State. Only 55 percent of the population complied and completed the forms and returned them to the Census Bureau.

2010 Census Questionnaire.

Immigrants made up the largest group of those that were uncounted. They feared the government would misuse the information collected in the forms. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said that was not so and urged the 500,000 undocumented immigrants to complete the forms, return them to the Census Bureau and be counted.

She said immigrants should rest assured that they will be protected under federal law. By law, she stressed, that individual responses were kept confidential and were not to be shared with other federal agencies. The forms, however, does not require respondents to provide information regarding their immigration status.

“The census is a win win for everyone and its safe, easy and fast to fill out,” she said. “It is critical that we capture a true picture of New York’s families and neighbourhoods to ensure their access to needed resources. Participation in Census 2010 by all New Yorkers is critical to ensuring our fair share of federal resources.”

She said her office will host throughout New York “Be Counted” Centers to help guide constituents through the filling process.

“This week households across New York State will be receiving one of the most important documents they will be given this decade: the 2010 Census Questionnaire Forms,” said Lillian Rodriguez-Lopez, president of the Hispanic Federation. She called on every one who received a package to fill the forms and return them to the Census Bureau.

New York Secretary of State Lorraine Cortes-Vasquez said census data affects funding and political representation in the communities. “Given the extraordinary economic challenges facing our families and communities right now, the stakes for an accurate count have never been greater, especially for Latinos and other groups who have traditionally been undercounted in the Census. An accurate count will ensure our state receives much needed federal funding for social services and infrastructure improvements.”

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be counted. By now most households would have received the Census 2010 package in the mail. An instruction sheet is enclosed to assist with the filling out of the forms which are to be returned in the envelope provided by mid April. Those who have not responded by then will be visited by Census workers.  They”ll begin knocking on doors in the first week of May.

Census data is collected every ten years, and only once.  The data is used by decision makers to determine where certain needs are in the communities and how they can be met. For instance, where to build new schools, health clinics, child care and senior centers among others. It also plays an important part in determining how many seats each state has in the House of Representatives.

Every year the federal government uses census information to distribute critically needed funds for programs at hospitals, schools, street cleaning, public housing, social services and food stamps. Undercounting has resulted in a shortfall of millions of federal dollars to communities over the last decade.

This year community leaders have partnered with the U.S. Census Bureau to begin a comprehensive campaign to ensure that the more than eight million residents in New York are counted. Everyone is urged to participate.

The new Census forms require each household to complete ten simple questions. It is safe and simple to fill and should take no more than ten minutes. They are in  English and Spanish and require full name, birth date,  country of origin and contact number. A return envelope with prepaid postage is included in each package. It’s as easy as that.

Blessings on a Special Day

Posted by admin On March - 16 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

A special message to the Jewish community by Rabbi Moses A. Birnbaum, Spiritual Leader of the Jewish Center of Kew Gardens on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah.

Dear family and friends,

Jewish Historical Society President (Queens) Jeff Gottlieb and Rabbi Moses Abraham Birnbaum, Spiritual Leader, Jewish Center of Kew Gardens.

Today is a special day on the Jewish calendar and it prompts me to connect with you. Tuesday, the 16th of March coincides this year with Rosh Khodesh Nisan, the beginning of the month the Torah declared as the first in the order of months.

Like many cultures, ours has several ways of looking at the year and consequently has several new year’s days. The two major ones herald the spring and fall cycles. In this way the Jewish year is neatly divided into two halves.

Today is rosh hashanah, the new year for months paralleling Rosh Hashanah, the 1st of Tishrei, which begins the order of days. The 10th of Nisan is the day that the Paschal lamb was selected and set aside to be consumed at Passover by each household, when the Temple of Jerusalem stood. This was comparable to Yom Kippur, a day of sacrificial atonements, falling on the 10th of Tishrei. Pesakh and the fall harvest festival of Sukkot, both falling on their respective full moons, climax the festive seasons.

This year the new year for months begins on the third day of the week, Tuesday, a day of the week itself, considered to be doubly good at the Creation.

In the spirit of this auspicious time, a doubly blessed day beginning a new month and a new year, I wish youkhodesh tov v’shanah tovah/ a guten khoidesh un a gut yor/ a good month and a good year! May God grant all the worthy wishes of your hearts for blessing.

Khag kasher v’sameiakh/ a guten gezunten un kusheren peisekh/ a good, healthful and kosher Passover.

Rabbi Moses A. Birbaum.

Police Tow Corpse

Posted by admin On March - 14 - 2010 3 COMMENTS

Busting the Dead

This is so funny I had to share it with my readers.

This is not believe it or not, but seriously, believe it or not, in a bizarre incident, an NYPD tow truck towed a funeral mini van with a dead body laying inside even though there was a placard tucked under one of the wiper blades on the windshield that stated clearly: Licenced Funeral Director on official business.

Reddens Funeral Home (Photo taken from website).

Last stop, the city tow pound off the West Side Highway.

Although the silver 2002 Dodge was illegally parked outside the Redden’s Funeral Home on West 14th Street  in a “No Parking Anytime,” zone, funeral director Paul DeNigris believes it had legal authorisation to be so parked.

The incident occurred on Saturday while DeNigris was transporting a body in the back of the van, in a white cardboard box, to Newark Airport for a flight to Miami for cremation.

In a Daily News interview DeNigris said he stepped inside the funeral home to collect some paperwork, took a phone call and returned to find…nothing. The van containing the body in the white box had disappeared from the roadside.

DeNigris said he almost died when he walked outside and found the vehicle gone.  “I was just a wreck. I was frantic. When something like that happens, you go into panic mode.”

After the body had rested for 90 minutes at the city tow pound, and after the distraught DeNigris had explained his situation and after he had produced documentation from the funeral home he was allowed to claim the vehicle and, ah hem, its occupant.

In a show of respect the tow pound waived the $185 fee. However, DeNigris intends to challenge the $115 parking ticket he got for parking the vehicle outside the funeral home, citing funeral business vehicle transporting a body was immune to parking regulations.

“It’s frustrating. It’s aggravating. But this is New York City. Things like this are not uncommon,” he  said.

The NYPD said the van was ticketed at 9.22 a.m. and towed nearly three hours later, at 12.07 p.m. The vehicle was released at 1.40 p.m.

“There was nothing to indicate it was more than just an illegally parked car,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne.

DeNigris thinks the error may have occurred because the windshield placard had fallen flat and was hard to detect. The van’s tinted windows also helped to obscure the box in the back.

He did make it to the airport in time to send the body on its last ride to Florida.