Schumer Urges Outgoing FDA Commish To Ensure Ban On Kid-Friendly E-Cigs

    U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

    U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) yesterday urged resigning U.S. Food and Drug (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to ensure a ban on kid-friendly e-cig flavors like candies, juices, fruits, cookies and more before he leaves at the end of the month.

    Schumer also announced that he will demand a new nominee for the post to pledge to continue Gottlieb’s unfinished business on e-cigs before they are confirmed.

    “With the resignation of Scott Gottlieb, critical e-cig regulations, like a crackdown and ban on kid-friendly flavors could go up in smoke unless the Commissioner takes immediate action before leaving,” said Schumer. “Commissioner Gottlieb was bucking the trend of a lobbyist-friendly administration, and at my personal urging, led the charge to rein in e-cigarettes and the lengths they go to hook kids. This work must continue in his absence.”

    Citing new data that shows e-cig use among youth is surging, Schumer detailed his asks of Gottlieb before he leaves in March. Specifically, Schumer wants Gottlieb to immediately:

    1)      Finalize the ban of flavored e-cigarette products in convenience stores, where a majority of New York City and Long Island-area kids acquire their e-cigs and flavor pods.

    2)      Once-and-for-all deem e-cigarettes as official tobacco products, which has been delayed for years. The delay means that e-cig flavors have been able to stay on the market for years without a comprehensive review of their public health implications.


    Koo Issues Update On Efforts To Eliminate Prostitution In Flushing

    City Council Member Peter Koo/via Facebook

    City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Bayside, College Point, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Whitestone) on Friday today joined the Flushing Business Improvement District, the 109th Police Precinct, and Chair of the Public Safety Committee, Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens) to discuss recent efforts to eliminate prostitution on 40th Road in Flushing.

    The road is a 0.1 mile stretch of street in the heart of downtown Flushing with nearly two dozen restaurants, the entrance the LIRR, and a public playground. Once affectionately referred to as “Restaurant Row,” in recent years it has turned into a red light district where dozens of girls aggressively solicit sex from people walking down the street 24/7, often even venturing into the playground.

    In collaboration with the 109th Precinct, the BID and Koo’s office have worked to expose, identify and shut down several brothels posing as massage parlors on 40th Road. In addition, Koo has spoken directly with several landlords on the block to demand that they evict tenants who engage in illegal activity. As a result, most of the fake massage parlors have now either been padlocked by the NYPD or had their locks changed by landlords. 

    “We have made significant progress in cleaning up 40th Road thanks to a combination of police enforcement, community engagement, and even media exposure. For too long, this pervasive issue has plagued our community, but we are here to say that ends today. In the past, crackdowns result in the problem going away for a little while only to resurface again. This will take consistent enforcement, and my office plans to stay engaged on this matter with police, business owners, landlords and the community,” said Koo.

    Koo is currently planning a sex trafficking seminar with the NYPD and local women’s shelter non profits in order to educate the community about sex trafficking. It will take place in Flushing in the coming weeks.


    Sanders To Host Free Tax Prep Services For NYCHA Redfern

    State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

    State Sen. Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) in partnership with York College and the IRS is bringing free tax preparation and filing to NYCHA REDFERN for individuals and families earning less than $50,000 dollars.

    You must make an appointment and have have all required documents ready before you come in. To sign up, call Senator Sanders’ Office at 718-327-7017 or 718-523-3069. 

    The services will be offered from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 14 and Friday, March 15 at the The Child Center of NY, Redfern Cornerstone, 1544 Hassock Street in Far Rockaway.


    Addabbo To Co-Sponsor Job Fair

    Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

    State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) at the end of this month is co-sponsoring a job fair in conjunction with Commonpoint Queens and other city and state agencies in Forest Hills.

    “For anyone looking for a job, this Job Fair is the perfect opportunity to get your résumé out there and increase your chances of landing a position,” Addabbo said. “Helping people find employment is something I always try to do, and being a part of job fairs such as this is a major way to do that. I would like to thank Comptroller Scott Stringer and the Queens Chamber of Commerce for co-sponsoring this event, as well as Commonpoint Queens for putting it all together, and Central Queens Y for hosting this great job fair.”

    Employers that will be recruiting at the job fair include:

             Flushing Bank;

             The NYC Department of Corrections;

            Barclays Center;

             St. John’s Episcopal Hospital;

             Trader Joe’s;

             Hampton Inn;

             And many more from industries including government agencies, social services, healthcare, and food service.

    For a full list of participating companies, and to register for the event, visit commonpointqueens.org/jobfair.

    The job fair is slated for between 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, March 29 at the Central Queens Y at 67-09 108th Street in Forest Hills.

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