Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Roosevelt Island Christmas Tale - Local Residents, RIOC Public Safety Officers and RI Youth Program Help Bring Toys For Tots to Coler Hospital Children's Ward

A Roosevelt Island Christmas story from Sasha Ross:

A few weeks ago  Priscilla Morales told me she was collecting toys for the Toys for Tots program and asked if we, as a Roosevelt Island community, could donate a toy or two for less fortunate children.

Of course I was willing to donate what I could.

The collection ended 12/19 (last Friday) so when I noticed the boxes still sitting in the PS/IS 217 school on Monday, I asked why. Apparently Toys for Tots had not picked them up yet.

Yesterday, about 5:45 pm I got a phone call from Priscilla asking about the children's ward at Coler Hospital. PS/IS 217 was closing at 6pm and would remain closed until after the new year. She needed a place to donate the toys before it was too late.

So, I made a few phone calls. Yes there was a Coler Hospital children's ward I was told. But no, they were not sure if they could accept any donations, I would have to wait for another call from someone in Coler Hospital's Human Resources department.

I was able to use the Roosevelt Island Youth Program (RIYP) Center as a holding area for the toys until I got a call back from someone in HR at Coler. I called the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department (PSD) for some help. I would need transport to the hospital, would PSD help?

Well it all worked out and by 7:30pm yesterday, the Coler Hospital Children's ward received 2 huge densely packed boxes of brand new Christmas toys.

Image of Toys For Tots Delivery To Coler Hospital Representative By Sasha Ross

So I'm sending a huge thank you to Priscilla Morales for such an amazing idea. To RIYP's Romance Barber, PSD's Chief Jack McManus, Sergeant Michelle Evans and Sergeant Rodell Lindsey for all of their help. I know we all made those children's holiday season a bit better.
Also, a Big Thank You to Ms. Ross for her efforts to bring Christmas Toys to children at Coler Hospital and for telling us the story.


Frank Farance said...

Photos from Children's Christmas Play, Midnight Mass Is At Midnight tonight

David Enock said...

Frank, this is great.. it needs be seen by a larger audience.

David Enock said...

Merry Christmas.

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Enock: This stop-n-frisk analysis is really the point that identifies what the public sees (and feels!) is wrong with NYPD. Working on visualization of data so it's easier understood by electeds. Merry Christmas!

CheshireKitty said...

Here is a good article on stop and frisk

calling for a less severe approach by l/e agencies, and an article on broken windows - which predates mass-basis stop and frisk

Mass basis stop and frisk was ended in NYC, yet crime is still down - this 12/3/14 article includes startling graphs/charts showing that crime is still down despite mass basis stop and frisk having been abandoned.

David Enock said...


Frank Farance said...

Mr. Enock: Not sure what "huh?" refers to.

CheshireKitty said...

de Blasio and the majority of the City Council in 2014 passed laws doing away with mass-basis stop and frisk as practiced by the BB administration, which was an onerous practice that unfairly targeted folks of color. Crime is still down despite the cessation of the practice, although it is of course still used when called for (not as a widespread/random practice). Statistics show that about 90% of those randomly stopped had no problem with the law - many were stopped repeatedly for no reason. There were quotas in place - some police officers disliked the practice and filled out phantom stop and frisk forms to fulfill quotas. All that is largely behind us now; the Garner arrest occurred under Bratton's "Quality of Life" policing ethos - targeting minor "infractions." Garner had been observed selling loose, possibly untaxed, cigarettes. The day of his arrest, he didn't have the cigarettes on him. But the cops still wanted to arrest him anyway for having previously sold the cigarettes. I'm not sure they ever proved there was no tax paid on the smokes. What is the likelihood Garner bought the cigarettes at the corner store - paying the full price including tax - and then was selling loosies for perhaps a buck a piece, making money yes, but also having paid the tax? None of this mattered to the police - Mr. Garner wasn't given a chance to plead his case, instead he was treated like a violent criminal - which he was not - put into a illegal choke-hold, and killed (since the cause of death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner).

I do not think going this far to "prosecute" a possibly illegal sale of cigarettes- i.e.a sale of possibly untaxed cigarettes - is "sane." This was a wildly disproportionate use of force. Also, think of people who receive parking tickets. They aren't put into choke-holds or smashed to the pavement and sat on. We're talking about pennies of possibly unpaid tax. I think the "team" that participated in the arrest of Mr. Garner should all be fired for not showing an iota of common sense. Why did Mr. Garner have to be arrested in the first place? As I said could they prove those were un-taxed cigarettes? Also, why not give him a summons for an economic crime. Imagine if folks with problems on their income tax were violently arrested. They aren't - and they sometimes have problems to the tune of thousands owed. There are so many reasons why the Garner arrest was all wrong - and the aftermath, the entire team that killed Garner goes scot-free, is sickening.

I am sorry about the two cops who were shot in Bklyn - obviously, two wrongs don't make a right, and an eye for an eye philosophy will eventually leave us all sightless. We have a system of criminal justice - which was supposed to have worked with the GJ that met in Staten Island, but it didn't. The calls for special prosecutors in controversial cases involving excessive use of force by the police department, are correct. Let's hope the tragedy of the cops getting shot does not lead to a "mindless" reaction on the part of the population. I too mourn the two cops who were shot - but I also want to see reform and a new system in place - a new framework for hearing GJ cases involving excessive use of force by the police.

David Enock said...

In response to your statement ..."This stop-n-frisk analysis is really the point that identifies what the public sees (and feels!) is wrong with NYPD. Working on visualization of data so it's easier understood by electeds"...I did not understand it.

David Enock said...

Cheshiecat, I totally agree, but I do not understand, why did you point this at me?

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Enock: Good points. The pervasive racial/ethnic bias against blacks/Latinos is clearly visible in stop-n-frisk data, it quantifies what people feel on a visceral level. And data visualization is just making computer-generated charts from the data that help one "visual" what the data is "saying".