Wave of Hate Crimes
With sudden and increasing regularity, reports of bias incidents against a broad spectrum of religious symbols and houses of worship have spread across Long Island and beyond recently.
Listed below are some of these hate and bias crimes reported in the area recently:
- An outdoor menorah was desecrated on Gerhard Road in Plainview on the last day of the Festival of Lights, on either Dec. 26-27.
- That same week, graffiti was scrawled on buildings along Sea Cliff's Main Avenue near St. Boniface School. Detectives said swastikas, the marijuana reference: “420,” the Klu Klux Klan moniker “White Knight” and the letters “WK” were discovered.
- A statue of the Infant Jesus disappeared from the Nativity scene in front of St. Mary’s Church in Roslyn Harbor on Dec. 30.
- The following week in Sea Cliff, another swastika was drawn in black marker on a Glen Avenue resident's garage door.
- In Great Neck, swastikas were scratched into a 1998 Mercedes Benz parked at the Babylonian Jewish Center, sometime overnight on Jan. 6-7.
- Most recently, police charged a Centerport man with throwing a glass bottle into Huntington's Masjid Noor Mosque driveway from his vehicle.
- Nassau Police are investigating four incidents of graffiti on residential fences in Rockville Centre Jan. 19, including one involving a racist term.
Nassau Sheriff's Association Files Suit Against Demotions
The Nassau County Sheriff Officers Association filed suit in Nassau Supreme Court on behalf of the Nassau correction officers' union Friday, Jan. 13.
According to a report in Newsday, the union has challenged the demotion of 30 corporals at the county jail in East Meadow, arguing that Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano missed a Dec. 29 deadline to reduce their rank to correction officer.
The report also states that the Sheriff Officers Association has asked for the corporals to be reinstated with back pay.
According to Newsday:
The union, which represents more than 1,000 correction officers, contends the demotions Thursday reduced supervision and jeopardize safety at the jail while putting the former corporals in danger of inmate retaliation for past decisions.
A state judge denied the union's requests to lift the demotions until the case is decided, said Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli, whose office is handling the case with outside counsel.
However, Mangano contends that the unions were well aware of the possible demotions.
"While it pains me to see anyone lose their job or demoted, I informed Nassau’s unions' presidents months ago that layoffs would occur if they did not provide the concessions needed to protect residents from a 19-percent property tax hike and live within the dollars provided to us for the 2012 budget by the County Legislature," Mangano told Patch.
Both parties are due back in court Jan. 20.
Nassau Officials Announce Local Pharmacist Security Summit
Mangano and District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced Tuesday that Nassau County’s Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse Prevention Task Force will partner with InfraGard, an FBI public-private partnership, and the Long Island Pharmacy Crimes Task Force to offer a Pharmacist Security Summit on Feb. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. at The Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage.
The Pharmacist Security Summit will feature representatives from the Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) and Nassau County District Attorney’s Office. Together, they will discuss their efforts and successes in apprehending and deterring addicts from burglarizing local pharmacies for prescription opiates.
Rice will also address pending prosecutions of doctors and pharmacists accused of illegally dispensing prescription drugs and of individuals filling illegal prescriptions. Additionally, a presentation will be delivered by representatives of Purdue Pharma, the makers of Oxycodone.
Law enforcement officials have created a list of vulnerable pharmacies in Nassau County and are tracking and arresting criminals guilty of drug diversion – from doctors who overprescribe to those who obtain the pills fraudulently and/or sell their own prescriptions.
LIPA Audit Bill Passes State Assembly
The New York State Assembly on Wednesday passed legislation that requires the Long Island Power Authority to undergo "comprehensive and operational audits," according to a press release from Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, D-Long Beach.
The goal of the Long Island Power Authority Oversight and Accountability Act (A.8957) is to address LIPA's "out-of-control spending and questionable business practices."
Plans Call for NUMC to Hire Non-Union Workers
Officials at Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC), the county's only public hospital, are planning to create a non-profit subsidiary that would allow them to hire non-union employees.
The new entity would be called NuHealth Services Corp., which would co-run the East Meadow-based hospital, according to documents submitted to New York State Health Department
County Launches Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club
Mangano announced Wednesday the creation of the "Inventors and Entrepreneur Club of Nassau County." The organization will provide a network for local inventors and entrepreneurs to collaborate and learn from experts.
The club will provide novice and seasoned entrepreneurs networking and brainstorming opportunities in a safe and secure environment. With a primary goal of helping turn ideas into action, the club will provide assistance in all aspects of the inventing process and enable members to tap into critical resources. Fueled by monthly guest expert speakers, the organization will provide assistance to local inventors in each step of the innovation process.
The club is set to meet monthly in the Ceremonial Chambers of the Theodore Roosevelt County Executive and Legislative Building, 1550 Franklin Ave., Mineola. The first meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.