On the brief side...
McLaughlin (D–Flushing) commented: “Immigrant scam artists, who often portray themselves as attorneys, are now subject to criminal and civil penalties if they violate provisions of the new law.”
The law mandates that service providers who secure such items as Green Cards, marriage licenses and similar documents for immigrants, must give clients a contract written in both the immigrant’s native language and English; must itemize services and provide a fee schedule; post a surety bond of at least $50,000; permit clients to cancel within three days and have fees returned; return clients’ documents upon completion of service or cancellation, and clearly post and advertise that they are not attorneys, if that is the case.
The law will take effect on November 1.
UCCA To Honor Crowley, Maloney
Congressmembers Joseph Crowley and Carolyn Maloney will be honored as Man and Woman of the Year by the United Community Civic Association (UCCA) at the organization’s 12th Annual holiday champagne brunch on December 12 at the La Guardia Marriott Hotel, President Rose Marie Poveromo announced.
UCCA will also honor Member Patrick DiMotta, a longtime Astoria civic activist, with the Valerie Fisher Community Service Award.
Tickets are $60 per person, due before the absolute deadline of November 7, Poveromo said. For information, call Jamie Dovico at 917-681-4105 or Carol Scarano at 718-728-6199, chair and co-chair of the event. The La Guardia Marriott is located at 102-05 Ditmars Blvd., East Elmhurst.
Sears Celebrates Diwali
At a celebration of Diwali, the Indian observance called the Festival of Lights, City Councilmember Helen Sears (D–Jackson Heights) presented a citation to local businessman Mohan Singh Kathuria, owner of Sona Appliances in Jackson Heights. The citation honors Kathuria for his having dedicated 25 years to his business and the surrounding community. Shiv Dass, president of the Jackson Heights Merchant’s Association, attended the presentation ceremony.
Schumer, Crowley Secure Anti-Crime Grant
United States Senator Charles Schumer and Congressmember Joseph Crowley have secured a $75,000 grant for the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce which will be used to install anti-crime surveillance cameras at the intersections of Queens Boulevard and 40th and 46th Streets in Sunnyside.
Crowley announced the grant at an onsite meeting accompanied by Assemblymember Catherine Nolan, City Councilmember Eric Gioia and community leaders.
Schumer said the surveillance cameras will be an effective step in both prevention and reduction of area crime, and will also help keep traffic violations and accidents down.
The cameras will be placed at No. 7 train station entrances as well as the street and sidewalk areas immediately surrounding the locations on both sides of Queens Boulevard.
Expand Medical Benefits For Guard, Reserve
United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that legislation expanding military health system benefits for National Guard and Military Reserve members has been passed and has been sent to President George W. Bush for his consideration.
Clinton, a co-sponsor of the measure, said the new eligibility provisions make Guard members and Reservists who serve on active duty under federal orders for 90 consecutive days eligible for one year of health insurance coverage, including their families. For every additional 90 days of service, they will be eligible for an additional year of health care coverage, Clinton said. They can remain in the system for 180 days after they are deactivated, Clinton added.
Currently, Guard members and Reservists and their families are eligible for TRICARE health benefits only while they are on active duty. Under the program, the Department of Defense pays 72 percent of the cost and members pay the remainder.