Koslowitz Sponsors Bill for Encrypted City Websites
Councilmember Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills, Forest Park, Kew Gardens, Rego Park, and Richmond Hill) released a statement about legislation that will be voted on Thurday that would require the encryption of website exchanges or transfers on websites maintained by the City of New York:
“In order to protect the city’s electronic files from bad actors, it has become necessary to mandate that all exchanges or transfers of content from city websites be protected through encryption,” said Koslowitz.
Introduction No. 1154-A, which is sponsored by Koslowitz, would require the encryption of exchanges or transfers of web content from websites maintained by or on behalf of the City, such as through the adoption of the HTTPS protocol. Certain websites maintained by the city that accept sensitive user information do not currently utilize secure encryption, which leaves users vulnerable to hacking or stolen data.
Addabbo Passes Bill Banning ‘Whippets’ Sales to Youths
State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside and The Rockaways) announced that his bill (S.5151) prohibiting the sale of whipped cream chargers, also known as ‘whippits, whippets, or whip-its’ to persons under the age of twenty-one passed in the Senate.
“Nitrous oxide is a legal chemical for legitimate professional use but when used improperly, it can be extremely lethal,” said Addabbo. “Young people buy and inhale this gas to get ‘high’ because they mistakenly believe it is a ‘safe’ substance. Simply, inhaling nitrous oxide is not safe and we need to eliminate access to this dangerous substance being misused by younger residents.”
Addabbo drafted the legislation after constituents complained of empty containers littering their community. Whipped cream chargers are filled with nitrous oxide which is often referred to as ‘laughing gas’ and popularly used as an over-the-counter inhalant because of its euphoric effects. Dental professionals use the chemical during oral surgery to relieve pain, but it is highly addictive and has detrimental effects if used improperly. Under current law, a person who uses nitrous oxide for purposes of intoxication is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
Under this legislation, an entity found in violation of selling whipped cream chargers to persons under 21 would be subject to a civil penalty of up to $250 for an initial offense and up to $500 for each subsequent offense.
Reports have shown that even a single inhaling of nitrous oxide can cause seizures, brain damage, strokes, heart attacks and death.
After passing the Senate, the bill will be considered by the Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee.
BP Lee Hosts 6th Virtual Job Fair
Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee will host the sixth installation of her “Virtual Queens Jobs Recruitment Fair” on August 5 to connect Queens job seekers to available employment opportunities.
“With an unemployment rate north of 20 percent in New York City, it is critical that we connect job seekers with available positions in key sectors of our restarting economy,” said Lee. “We are pleased to have new partners join our returning employers in answering questions live about a wide variety of jobs hiring now.”
The ongoing hiring push comes as Queens’ unemployment rate rose to 21.8 percent in June — up from a mere 3 percent in February — as a result of the economic emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the New York State Department of Labor, more than 1.51 million New York City residents have filed unemployment claims between March 8 and July 18.
Participants and viewers will hear brief presentations from employers and recruiters seeking to fill hundreds of positions in a variety of service fields including healthcare, transportation, retail, security and more.
Featured employers and recruiters include: the Child Center of New York, Community Capacity Development, the Council for Airport Opportunity, LIFE Camp, Inc., Mercy Home, MetroPlus Health Plan, New York Life, NYC Health + Hospitals, Queens Centers for Progress, Rock Safe Streets — a Sheltering Arms program, WATCH GUARD 24/7, Workforce1 and the Young Adult Institute (YAI).
Held every third Wednesday, the next Virtual Queens Jobs Recruitment Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, August 5 online from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Prospective applicants interested in participating in the live interactive Q&A via Zoom Webinar must RSVP by Tuesday, August 4 at www.queensbp.org/rsvp. The Jobs Recruitment Fair will also be livestreamed at www.queensbp.org/recruitmentfair.
Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Nearly $200 Million in Emergency Funding for NYC COVID Response
U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand on Tuesday announced $199,625,267.63 in federal funding for New York City’s Office of Management and Budget for Emergency Protective Measures.
These federal funds are administered through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Specifically, the federal funding will reimburse New York City for the cost of purchased medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) including ventilators, N-95 masks, face shields, medical gloves and gowns, and pharmaceuticals. The funding will also be used to cover the cost of expanded hospital infrastructure and equipment, including the construction of field hospitals and other emergency support facilities. Lastly, the funding also covers New York City’s investment in COVID-19 testing, nurse surge staffing, and staffing in food and cleaning services in health care facilities.
“I’m proud to deliver these federal funds to help cover the massive costs of PPE, hospital infrastructure, COVID-19 testing, and staffing for our health care facilities right here at home,” said Schumer. “There are so many components to a safe recovery and reopening and we must support our city’s local resources in the process. The safety of our healthcare workers, hospital infrastructure to support a potential influx of patients, testing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and staffing for our health care facilities is top-of-mind for me when fighting for funding for our communities.”
“New York’s health care workers have worked tirelessly to keep our communities safe, and we must ensure they have the essential PPE and infrastructure needed to treat patients and save lives,” said Gillibrand. “Ensuring the safety of our first responders and health care centers is key to getting New Yorkers safely back to work. For months, I have fought for this relief and I will continue fighting in the Senate for the resources New Yorkers need during this pandemic.”
This project is authorized under Section 403 of the Robert T. Stafford Act, which allows for Federal agencies to provide assistance in meeting immediate threats to life and property resulting from a major disaster. Additionally, this federal funding represents the first half of New York City’s Office of Management and Budget reimbursement for FEMA’s qualifying Emergency Protective Measures.