NEW ADDITION TO UNION SQUARE PARTNERSHIP Felicia Tunnah, former assistant vice president of the Downtown Alliance, has joined the Union Square Partnership as its director of economic development and special projects. As the new director, Tunnah will create programs to promote retail and commercial activity in the area and enhance the streetscape around Union Square. "Union Square is one of the city's most vital and vibrant districts, offering tremendous opportunity for economic development benefiting stakeholders, and the Partnership has done a wonderful job serving the district for over 30 years," said Tunnah.
SILVER ON DOWNTOWN CONSTRUCTION NOISE Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver called on the city's Department of Transportation and the Department of Buildings to cease issuing variant permits that allow noisy construction work that continues into the night and forces residents to use their pillows to block out the noise. The Financial District is one of the fastest growing mixed-use neighborhoods in the city and, prior to its relatively recent residential boom, the after-hours permits were not considered particularly disruptive. Now, residents have primarily complained about construction on John Street and at the Brooklyn Bridge. Silver called for the city agencies to only allow construction during weekdays, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
CCRB TO MONITOR POLICE MISCONDUCT For the first time, the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), will be able to independently prosecute substantiated cases within the NYPD's internal system. An agreement between City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and the CCRB will bring increased transparency to their reviews of alleged police misconduct. Under their prosecutorial authority, they'll investigate civilian claims of police misconduct and refer to the NYPD for prosecution if necessary.
ZADROGA BILL TO COVER CANCER
Last week, the Science/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) of the World Trade Center Health Program voted to add certain types of cancer under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, said a press release distributed by Council Member Margaret Chin's office. The STAC recommended that select cancers and cancer site groupings should be added to the list of WTC-related conditions, including breast and ovarian cancer, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, thyroid cancer, lymphoma and leukemia. The STAC also recommended that rare cancers (based on age-specific incidence rates by gender, decade of age, site and histology), and childhood cancers (any diagnosed in people under the age of 20) be covered under the Act. "The inclusion of cancer under the Zadroga Act will unlock the door to life-saving treatment for thousands of first responders and survivors," said Chin, who represents the World Trade Center site and lower Manhattan. STAC had until April 2 to submit its recommendations to Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the administrator of the WTC health program. Howard will make the final determination on which cancers will be covered.
Last week, State Sen. Daniel Squadron, the ranking member and former chair of the Senate Social Services Committee, heralded the $2.5 million allocated for Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) in the state budget, as well as significant investments in other critical social services programs. Squadron has long championed state funding for NFP, which matches low-income first-time mothers with registered nurses for home visits from pregnancy until the child is 2 years old. Between 2009 and 2010, Squadron secured $7 million in state funding for the program, allowing NFP to grow the number of families for which it can provide services. Studies have consistently found that NFP's work reduces child neglect and abuse, improves children's behavior and school performance and leads to significant long-term savings for families.
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