2015-10-21 / Political Page

Kim Makes Visits To S. Korea And Japan

Assemblymember Ron Kim (D–Flushing) has been visiting South Korea and Japan since October 12 and is due back in four days or so, when we’ll get a chance to ask him how the trip turned out.

Prior to leaving he left us a long note saying he would be in Japan visiting Tokyo and various cities from October 12 to 18, to “conduct a number of government and community-based meetings with top officials from the Japanese ministry.”

From there he planned to visit South Korea from October 19-25, where he planned to “join a delegation of political leaders from around the world in Seoul.”

Kim, the first and only Korean-American elected official in New York State, said he had been invited by Japanese and South Korean governments to visit their countries “to promote deeper collaborations” between them and America.

“In accepting the invitation from Japan to visit their nation,” he said, “my only condition was that they would grant me a meeting with their foreign relations and education ministries to address one of the ongoing concerns by many Americans and people around the world: full acknowledgment of the enslaved prostitution of thousands of Korean and Chinese women during World War II, often referred to as ‘Comfort Women.’


Kim, the first and only Korean- American elected official in New York State, said he had been invited by Japanese and South Korean governments to visit their countries “to promote deeper collaborations” between them and America. Kim, the first and only Korean- American elected official in New York State, said he had been invited by Japanese and South Korean governments to visit their countries “to promote deeper collaborations” between them and America. “This is a human rights issue that all Asian nations must accept as part of our history in order to move forward together in promoting healthy and vibrant democratic nations in Asia.”

Kim added, “This year marks 50 years of the Treaty of Basic Relations between Japan and South Korea, where both nations benefited from much cooperation in striving to become two of the top economies in the world. In order to promote deeper collaboration in the next 50 years, we must focus on promoting unity and empathy between the two nations.”

As for his trip to South Korea, he said, “I also look forward to connecting with political leaders from around the world in discussing not only Korean-Japan relations, but our ongoing efforts to reunify North and South Korea.”

CROWLEY ANNOUNCES SECOND ANNUAL VETERANS’ DAY ESSAY CONTEST:

Congressman Joseph Crowley, the Vice Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, announced the start of the second annual Veterans’ Day essay competition for students who reside within his district, which is the 14th Congressional District, which includes portions of Queens and The Bronx.

Entries for the contest are open to students in grades five through eight who live in the 14th Congressional District. Entries are now being accepted. Essays must be received by Crowley’s Queens district office by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 30, 2015 in order to be considered.

Veteran’s Day is on November 11.

For more information call Crowley’s office, 718-779-1400.

Additional guidelines for the contest include:

•Essays should be no longer than 500 words.

•Essays must be typed or written in black or blue ink.

•Students must include their name, school, grade and contact information on the essay.

Essays should be emailed to: Crowley.Events@mail.house.gov or mailed/delivered to: Office of Congressmember Joseph Crowley 82-11 37th Avenue, Suite 402, Jackson Heights, NY 11372.

Crowley’s essay contest asks students to write about the holiday’s significance as a way to express their gratitude for our men and women in uniform. The winning essay will be submitted into the Congressional Record, and second and third place finishers will also receive Congressional recognition.

“For our first-ever Veterans Day essay competition I was thrilled to see so many students from across the district express their appreciation for, and honor, the men and women who fight to protect our freedom each and every day,” said Crowley. “Now, I look forward to being inspired by this year’s entries as our nation gets ready to once again salute the members of our armed forces for all their sacrifices.”

Last year’s winning essay was written by eighth grade student Kezia Dickson from IS 61 in Corona.

CROWLEY, MENG OFFER CONDOLENCES TO OGNIBENE FAMILY: Condolences were offered last week for the family and friends of Thomas Ognibene, of Middle Village, who passed away on Monday, October 12 at the age of 71. Condolences were sent by Congressman Joseph Crowley (D–Queens, The Bronx) the Vice Chair of the Democratic House and chair of the Queens Democratic Caucus, county organization. Also by Congresswoman Grace Meng (D–Flushing).

Crowley wrote: “I’m truly saddened to learn of the passing of former Council Member Thomas Ognibene. Our city has lost a good and honorable man who was a passionate public servant. We didn’t always agree, but he cared deeply about the people of Queens and he will be remembered for putting his community first. I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends during this very difficult time and I join members of the community in mourning his loss.”

Congresswoman Meng wrote: “I’m sad to learn about the passing of Tom Ognibene. He was a dedicated public servant who worked tirelessly for Queens and loved the communities he represented. He fought hard for the things in which he believed and helped make our city and borough an even better place to live. I send my deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Ognibene, who was buried last Friday, was, at the time of his death, the long-time Christ the King High School Board of Trustees Vice Chairman and also Chairman of the school’s Scholarship Committee. The school is in Middle Village and is a highly regarded educational institution.

In announcing his death, his longtime personal friend and political ally Serphin Maltese, former state Senator and Christ the King’s Board of Trustees Chairman; Michael Michel, the school’s President; and Peter Mannarino, the school’s Principal, issued a statement announcing Ognibene’s death. It read:

“Christ the King is deeply saddened by the loss of our longtime Board of Trustees Vice Chairman and Chairman of Christ the King’s Scholarship Committee, Thomas V. Ognibene.

“Mr. Ognibene was dedicated not only to the students and parents of the school, but also as a public servant during his years as a member of the New York City Council and as the Minority Leader of NYC City Council.

“Mr. Ognibene was a dear friend and colleague and a constant inspiration to all at Christ the King. We offer our deepest condolences to his wife, Margaret, their children, Eve and Guy, and granddaughter, Alexis.

“He will be greatly missed.”

CROWLEY, SIMANOWITZ HOST EWASTE RECYCLING EVENT: Spurred on by a new law enacted in Albany in January, to dispose of electronic waste carefully to prevent dangerous chemicals in electronic waste from contaminating soil and water, Congressman Joseph Crowley and Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz joined forces recently to hold an EWaste Recycling and Paper Shredding Event.

Crowley (D–Queens, The Bronx) and Simanowitz (D–Flushing) worked with a community based outfit called the Lower East Side Ecology Center, which educates and organizes neighborhoods with ecologically-friendly events, and collects discarded e-waste and carts it away to designated facilities sometimes at a cost to the public.

Crowley explained, “We all know that improperly disposing of old electronics puts the environment at risk, but for many residents dropping off e-waste at designated locations can also be an onerous task.

“That’s why I’m pleased to team up with Assemblyman Simanowitz and the Lower East Side Ecology Center to provide community members with free, convenient ways to discard their old and used electronics in a safe, environmentally responsible manner.”

Simanowitz is trying to make it easier for constituents. In order to facilitate e-waste disposal for his constituents, he has introduced legislation (A7159-S5464) that would allow homeowners to schedule a pick-up with the Department of Sanitation.

Simanowitz said the bill passed the State Senate earlier this year and is currently working its way through the Assembly. He explained, “At times, laws are implemented with no measures to address resulting changes. My bill would resolve this issue that creates an unfair burden on our communities and in particular our elderly residents.

“I call on my colleagues in the Assembly to pass this bill and provide relief for our communities. I would also like to thank the Lower East Side Ecology Center and The Mattone Group for helping to draw attention to this important issue.”

ADDABBO TO STATE: ‘STUDY FIRST, THEN DECIDE ON AMBROSE’: State Senator Joseph Addabbo firmly reminded state officials that they must consider “all environmental, security and health-related ramifications” of the proposed liquid natural gas project near the Rockaways before they give the project its blessings.

Addabbo (D–Howard Beach), who opposes the Port Ambrose project, pointed out: “Similar to the fracking issue, in which the state took specific measures and review before rendering a deliberate decision, it must do the same with the proposed Port Ambrose liquid gas project which would be off the coast of Rockaway.”

And to emphasize his point, the lawmaker added: “As I am against the Port Ambrose project, I prefer that progress be made on a proposed offshore wind project that is slated for the same site of Rockaway. I also question the necessity for the Port Ambrose liquid natural gas project and have grave concerns for the environmental and security impacts to my district and its residents.”

Addabbo explained that recently federal officials released an environmental impact statement on the Port Ambrose proposal and mentioned in part that it would have some adverse environmental effects.

Addabbo also noted that the federal government is scheduled to release information regarding public hearings on the project, possi- bly in November. Upon completion of the public comment period, he said, both the Governors of New York and New Jersey will have 45 days to approve, change or reject the Port Ambrose project.

He said, “I intend to promote the public hearings and comment period as I receive information.”

KOO VOTES TO LANDMARK BOWNE STREET CHURCH: Testifying before the Landmarks Preservation Commission on October 8, Councilmember Peter Koo (D–Flushing) stated he supported landmark designation for the Bowne Street Community Church, located at 143-11 Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing.

Koo stated that the 124-year-old red brick edifice is a “beautiful hallmark of Flushing that is especially deserving of a coveted NYC Landmark designation. The historical significance of Flushing as the birthplace of religious freedom is often lost in the rapid push to develop and modernize our neighborhood, so we must make every effort to ensure these remarkable buildings that have survived for hundreds of years are not lost to current and future generations.”

Koo, who Chairs the Landmarks Committee, noted that the church in question “has idled on the landmarks calendar since 2003.” Koo has introduced and is currently working on legislation that would impose “timelines” on the amount of time it takes the LPC to consider landmarks and historic districts.

The lawmaker said that the church building “boasts red brick edifice, intricate brickwork, terra cotta tile, and a bell tower.” He stated the structure contains “five original Tiffany stained-glass windows that were created by the famed Louis Tiffany Glass Company.”

Koo also added that the church resides in the immediate vicinity of multiple existing NYC landmarks, including the Friends Meeting House, Bowne House, Kingsland Homestead, St. George’s Episcopal Church, Flushing Town Hall, Lewis H. Latimer House, RKO Keith’s and one of the city’s two living landmarks – the Weeping Beech Tree.

ADDABBO URGES ‘PROTECT IDENTITY ONLINE’: State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., aware that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, is reminding constituents to be conscious about protecting their personal information on the internet and being certain their identity is safe from any cyber threats.

Since it was first recognized in 2004, Addabbo (D–Howard Beach) recalls, Cyber Security Awareness Month aims to encourage the public to be vigilant when it comes to online activity. He notes, “As technology continues to improve and more and more aspects of everyday life now involve electronics, Cyber Security Awareness Month becomes increasingly important.” That’s why Addabbo in encouraging residents to take steps to ensure their personal information is secure.

The lawmaker says, “It seems like every week we hear about another major data breach that affects millions of people and puts their identity at serious risk of being stolen. If someone gets hold of personal information such as a Social Security number, it opens you up to the possibility of having bank accounts, credit cards and so many other things compromised. Unfortunately, it is all too easy for people to become victims of identity theft, but it is also easy to protect yourself from that. All it takes is knowing how.”

Earlier this year, Addabbo relates, the State Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, of which he is the Ranking member, held a hearing on the topic of Cyber Security. In order to bring awareness to the importance of cyber security and encourage more vigilance from the public, Addabbo said he is recommending simple, easy tips that can go a long way toward enhancing the level of protection given to personal information online.

The Senator recommends:

Use Strong Passwords made up of letters, numbers and special symbols such as ! or @. The more unusual a password is, the harder it is for an outside source to guess it. Many websites also require passwords to be “case sensitive,” meaning a single capital letter can determine whether an account can be accessed. It is also recommended that passwords be changed periodically to protect against any growing threats.

Do Your Research before entering any personal information into a website or mobile application. Knowing what you can and cannot trust is a key part of protecting yourself against having any data stolen. When downloading any applications to devices such as cell phones or tablets, read the terms and conditions to learn what personal information can be accessed through the app, and would therefore be vulnerable to theft if the program is hacked.

Trust Your Instincts when it comes to opening unfamiliar links or programs. If it looks suspicious, it probably is. Opening a link or program with a virus attached can give a cyber attacker access to your device, and subsequently all of your personal data.

Invest In A Good Security Software to protect your computer from any outside threats. While it can be very easy for a cyber attacker to hack into a computer, it is just as easy to install a high-quality security program that can prevent any outside access to your device. Many good programs are available at a low cost or for free.

Lock Your Personal Devices such as cell phones, tablets and laptops and never leave them unattended. Using a strong password or a fingerprint as a pass code can prevent unauthorized access to a device.

In addition to following these simple measures to protect your identity online, more helpful hints as well as information about Cyber Security Awareness Month are always available through the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Department of Homeland Security, Addabbo said.

The lawmaker signed off on this important subject saying, “Many of us don’t think twice about entering personal information online or providing it to businesses, thinking it will be protected, but that assumption can be dangerously false. If you use a computer, you could become a victim of identity theft. I strongly encourage all of us to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect ourselves from the potentially devastating effects of a cyber security breach.”

Addabbo then concluded with a quote from Phil Froehlich, Chief Operating Officer of Integris Security LLC. Froehlich stated:

“It is just as important for businesses to take steps to protect themselves. Larger corporations know this and devote considerable resources to security, but small and medium sized company executives need to focus on this as well because their businesses are being actively targeted by cyber criminals. They often think that they can't do anything about it because they don't have the resources, so they do little or nothing and leave themselves vulnerable. Take the time to understand the current threats and risks to your particular business. Then, open a frank discussion with your IT staff or provider and ask how these risks are being addressed.”

For more information about how to protect your identity online, visit www.staysafeonline.org.

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