Medicare Options Forum - November 13
Medicare's open enrollment period has begun and will continue through December 7th. During Fall Open Enrollment, people with Medicare can make changes to their existing Medicare coverage for 2014.
To help you choose among traditional Medicare and the various alternative plans, I am sponsoring an informational event with the Medicare Rights Center. A Medicare expert from the Center will explain various options, changes in 2014, Medicare savings programs, and Extra Help for the Part D Prescription Drug Benefit. The Medicare Rights Center will also be available to connect you to programs that can help pay costs associated with Medicare. The meeting is being co-sponsored by State Senators Brad Hoylman and Liz Krueger, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Councilmembers Christine Quinn and Gale Brewer, Councilmember-elect Corey Johnson and Community Boards 4, 5, & 6.
The Medicare Rights Center staff does a great job of explaining what can often be complicated details about Medicare. People interested in Medicare will learn a lot.
The forum will be at the Hudson Guild at 441 West 26th Street on Wednesday, November 13th. It will begin at 6:00PM with an hour-long presentation, and a question-and-answer session will follow until 8:00PM. Spanish translation will be available. For more information about the Medicare Rights Center, please visit its website at www.medicarerights.org or call 1-800-MEDICARE. For more information about this event, please contact my community office at 212-807-7900.
Recognizing NYPD 10th Precinct "Cop of the Month"
This month I sent my thanks to two police officers who were honored by the Tenth Precinct for outstanding service. Officers Peter Marter and Nicholas G. Pistilli were recognized for their talent and professionalism in serving their City.
Officer Marter, was on routine patrol on Sept. 20th when he observed a pedestrian who appeared to have been in a fight. After inquiring and finding this individual had been assaulted and robbed, Officer Marter asked for a description of the alleged perpetrator and realized he had observed a person matching it nearby. Following a brief pursuit, he successfully apprehended the alleged perpetrator.
When called to the scene of a burglary, Officer Pistilli used his expertise to successfully canvas an alleged burglar based only on a modest description. This individual had reportedly fled the scene of an attempted burglary in a private residence. Thanks to Officer Pistilli's efforts, the alleged perpetrator was found and apprehended.
As the Assembly Member representing the district where the Tenth Precinct is located, I especially appreciate the hard work, compassion, and courage its officers put into keeping our City safe. I applaud the commander of the Tenth, Capt. David Miller for having the "Cop of the Month" program.
"Do Not Call" Registry
Signing up for the "Do Not Call" Registry will prohibit calls to you by telemarketers who do not have an existing relationship with you. I encourage you to sign up today if you haven't already done so.
Here are some tips to protect yourself from scammers:
- Identify the caller and his/her company. Ask for his/her address and phone number.
- Only give out personal information if you initiate the call to a reputable company.
- If you're interested in an offer, hang up and call the company back. Verify their legitimacy or do some research on the internet or by asking friends and relatives before you call back.
You can sign up for the Do Not Call registry at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 888-382-1222
Learning from Other States
As chair of the Assembly Health Committee, part of my work is to learn about how other states are dealing with Medicaid, protecting consumers, improving outcomes, controlling costs, long-term care, and many other issues, and share our ideas with them. In October, I attended the annual conferences of the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) in Seattle, the Reforming States Group's (RSG) eastern regional meeting in Charleston, SC, and the Progressive States Network conference in Washington, DC. I am on the steering committees of NASHP and the RSG.
These forums offer excellent opportunities for state legislators. executive branch officials, and policy experts to collaborate, share ideas, and craft solutions for the problems we face. Several major initiatives I have supported in New York grew from things I learned at these meetings.
Post-Sandy recovery and West Chelsea
Although West Chelsea was not the neighborhood hit hardest by the storm, the flooding had a significant impact on our communities. I, along with all local elected officials representing Lower Manhattan, signed a letter drafted by State Senator Daniel Squadron asking the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery to include community leaders, business owners and residents of the West Chelsea, West Village, Lower East Side, East Village and Kips Bay neighborhoods of Manhattan in recovery efforts.
"New York Rising" (as the Office of Storm Recovery calls itself) has rightly focused on areas of Lower Manhattan most damaged by the storm, but the neighborhoods north of Battery Park City should not be excluded from this effort.
Roof-Top Night Life Proposal at the Gem Hotel
On October 22, 2013 I signed on to a letter sent by State Senator Brad Hoylman to the State Liquor Authority (SLA) expressing concerns about various issues regarding an application by Chelsea's Gem Hotel (300 West 22nd Street) for a beer and wine license for nightlife events on the hotel's roof-top. The letter outlines concerns expressed by community members about late-night noise that would result. This letter also supports Community Board 4's resolution passed by the full board on October 2nd.
Elected officials do not usually weigh in on individual SLA beer and wine licenses unless there is clear disregard by the applicant of reasonable community concerns. This application clearly demonstrates disregard for concerns of an increase in noise pollution for surrounding residential neighbors, as some are only fifteen feet from the proposed outdoor space.
There are also questions about whether the hotel has already hosted roof-top events with alcohol without appropriate SLA permits and in violation of its Buildings Department certificate of occupancy.
The SLA should carefully consider our concerns, investigate the hotel's past conduct (which might well indicate unfitness for a license), and impose strict stipulations for the roof-top's use.
New York, NY 10001
Albany, NY 12248