Tag Archives: Joseph Addabbo

Legislation tackles cyberbullying


| AMayo@queenscourier.com

As students, parents and educators gear up for the new school year, elected officials are tackling the growing problem of cyberbullying.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation last month that is designed to shed light on the hazards of cyberbullying and require educators to respond to such attacks as soon as they happen.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo is applauding the move. He told The Courier that the new bill expands the definition of harassment to include cyberbullying – a form of online behavior that has become both prevalent and sometimes deadly.

“Bullying used to be a push or shove, taunting. Now it’s the push of a button,” Addabbo said. “With the click of a button, thousands, if not more, are notified of a particular nasty message.”

Even though the bill does not go into effect until July 2013, lawmakers and proponents of anti-cyberbullying will be visiting area schools this year to talk about the issue and how to address it.

“Now that the governor signed this piece of legislation we need to make sure that all schools are aware of this bill and it is implemented in a correct manner,” Addabbo said.

Jamie Isaacs, a 16-year-old girl from Long Island who had been bullied her whole life, and the president of the Jamie Isaacs Foundation for Anti-Bullying, will also be visiting schools in Queens to discuss the effects of cyberbullying.

Isaacs said she was bullied from the end of second grade until seventh grade, when she ultimately had to switch from public school to private school. She said a group of 22 students tormented her for years – physically assaulting her, destroying and stealing her property and calling her names. The harassment followed through to the Internet, where Isaacs had to change her screen name multiple times to avoid constant messages of hate.

“My parents were frequently going to the principal’s office and the school district office begging for them to do something and they refused,” Isaacs said. “District heads said, ‘They’re just being kids they’ll grow out of it.’ The school was completely negligent.”

Isaacs said she is glad to see the new law being passed because it forces educators to deal with cyberbullying.

Addabbo said that cyberbullying has become a growing issue thanks to the increase of accessibility to technology, and the results can sometimes be deadly.

He noted how research has revealed a link between cyberbullying and low self-esteem, as well as long-term consequences that include increased depression, substance use and occasionally suicide.

Addabbo said the new bill should also make parents aware. He said there are different signs of behavior that parents should look out for, including physical abuse and mental abuse.

Maria Concolino, a Woodhaven resident who has children who go to a Jamaica public school, said students have become desensitized to the harsh realities of bullying, especially with the increase of bullying on the Internet.

“If they see someone killing someone on the Internet, then when they do something like bullying and calling them names they think, ‘Well, I’m not killing them,’ ” she said. “It’s making kids numb. They don’t have that line of reality. That line is very blurred.”

 

More than 300 come out for 4th Annual IRI Walkabout


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Part of the idea, organizers said, was to show how the developmentally disabled people of Independence Residences, Inc. (IRI) are really capable of many things.

More than 300 people came out for the 4th Annual IRI Walkabout and Picnic at Cunningham Park on Saturday, July 28, to walk, eat and show their support.

“It’s a great event,” said Assemblymember Mike Miller, who has attended the event every year. “We started with a few people the first year and you saw how big it was this year. Pretty soon we’re going to outgrow the park.”

IRI executive director Ray DeNatale said he modeled the event after the Australian ritual of “walkabout,” a time of self-evaluation and renewal.

The late Florence D’Urso, wife of the founder and president of Key Food, was memorialized at the event for the supermarket chain’s dedication to supporting IRI. Walk organizers said the store has provided free food every year IRI has had a picnic. Cooking was done by the Glendale Kiwanis Club, said Miller, who is also a member.

This year IRI celebrates its 25th anniversary as an incorporated organization. In that time, the group has helped a number of disabled people find jobs and shared apartments.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo was named an honorary grand marshal for the day, along with Miller. IRI’s ability to help the disabled was an inspiration to elected officials, Addabbo said, and in turn it was their duty to ensure IRI and other organizations continue to get funding.

“What I want to center on is to protect funding for early intervention,” he said. The walk and picnic’s growing turnout spoke to the abilities of the organization and those who use it, said DeNatale, who has been with IRI for more than 11 years.

“Today was a great day,” he said. “I’m very, very thankful for all the people who came up and show support for us.”

 

Local officials endorse Jeffries for Congress


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

Congressional hopeful and incumbent State Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffries received key endorsements from several local officials Friday afternoon on Cross Bay Boulevard as the days leading up to the June 26th primary grow fewer.

“I am honored to have the support of so many distinguished leaders from Queens,” Jeffries said. “Although our district spans two boroughs, we have the same priorities of better education for our children, preserving home ownership and getting people back to work.”

Congressmember Joseph Crowley, State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblymember Phillip Goldfeder — Jeffries’ colleague in Albany — endorsed the candidate, citing that despite being a Brooklyn based politician, they had confidence he would best represent the small portion of Queens that is part of the newly drawn Congressional District 8.

The officials said Jeffries was active in speaking with Queens residents and discussing their needs, despite Howard Beach, Ozone Park and Lindenwood making up only a small portion of the district.

“Hakeem Jeffries is exactly the kind of person we need in Congress,” said Crowley, who’s chairperson of the Democratic Party in Queens. “Not only will he fight to create jobs for New Yorkers, but he will also work hard to protect middle-class families, seniors and children.”

Jeffries said what he found most energizing about the area was how the various neighborhoods were united and concerned about the same issues.

The Jeffries campaign raised a little more that $250,000 from April 1 to June 6 alone, the campaign announced last week. 947 of the 1,217 donors in that time only gave $100 or less, according to a Jeffries press release. In total, Jeffries for Congress has raised $769,544 from 2,447 donors.

New cops join 106th precinct


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

DSC_0321

Fresh out of the academy, 15 newly minted police officers joined the 106th Precinct. The rookie rangers were introduced to the public at the precinct’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 9 by Captain Thomas Pascale. On hand to welcome the recruits was Senator Joseph Addabbo who congratulated Pascale for obtaining extra law enforcement officials. According to Addabbo, the tourist traffic at Resorts World Casino and the relocation of cops to the Rockaways during the summer caused the precinct to garner more assistance.

WATCH: Eric Ulrich announces Senate run


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Councilmember Eric Ulrich will run for Senate in the 15th District.

Councilmember Eric Ulrich — considered a rising star in the Republican Party — has declared his intent to vie for the 15th Senate District seat.

“This was not an easy decision for me to make. I love the job that I already have, and I had every intention of running for re-election next fall,” Ulrich said in his announcement video. “But the stakes are simply too high. While I’ve been able to accomplish many good things at the local level, I believe that I can accomplish even more if the people send me to Albany.”

Ulrich, 27, was first elected to the council when he was 24. He won his 32nd District City Council seat during a Special Election in 2009, succeeding State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. — who is now considered his likely Democratic opponent.

In 2008, Addabbo defeated Serphin Maltese, a two-decade Republican incumbent, later winning Senate re-election in 2010 against Republican runner Anthony Como. Ulrich, a second-term councilmember and the youngest in the council, was also re-elected to a full term in November 2009.

According to Vincent Tabone, executive vice chair of the Queens County Republican Party, GOP officials had urged Ulrich to take on the current senator in an election for the past four years.

“Addabbo has been a real disappointment for the people in the 15th Senate District,” Tabone said. “We’re very excited that Eric is taking this step.”

Tabone said Ulrich is the only announced candidate on the Republican side so far.

Josh Cherwin, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said Addabbo has been a “tireless advocate on behalf of the people he represents, which is why voters continue to return him to office by significant margins.”

“We expect the same to happen this year,” Cherwin said. “Few public servants have done more than Senator Joe Addabbo to stand up for the working families of Queens.”

Addabbo did not return calls for comment in time for press.

In December 2011, Ulrich was named chair of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in New York City.

If elected to State Senate, Ulrich said he would provide incentives for job creation by including tax cuts for small businesses and investing in his neighborhoods to encourage economic growth. His five-point plan to improve schools, he said, includes retaining the best and brightest teachers, building new schools to reduce the average class size, creating new school recreational space, strengthening communication between parents and teachers and accelerating student achievement with Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate.

“If we’re serious about revitalizing our communities, creating good paying jobs and encouraging young people like me to stay in New York, then we’ve got to lower the tax burden for homeowners and small businesses and invest in higher education so that people can compete for the jobs of the 21st Century,” Ulrich said.

The newly-redrawn 15th Senate District encompasses parts of the Rockaways, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven and extends up to Middle Village, Maspeth, Forest Hills, Ridgewood and Glendale.