Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 29, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Schumer Bill Would Monitor Firefighter Cancer

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer yesterday announced new legislation that would, for the first time ever, establish a specialized, voluntary national cancer registry to monitor cancer occurrences among all firefighters nationwide.

Under the proposed measure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would manage the registry with the aim to to treat, track and prevent firefighter cancers.

Schumer also detailed the range of harmful toxins firefighters are exposed to; their higher cancer rates and what was learned from 9/11 to make his legislative push.

“Our brave firefighters here in New York City and across New York State are on the frontlines, risking their lives to protect our communities,” said Schumer. “And now with the ubiquitous presence of complex chemicals in our furniture, clothes and goods, they are too often exposed to a caustic brew of toxins when fighting fires. That is why it so important for Congress to pass this critical legislation to establish a national voluntary firefighter cancer registry, so researchers can better track, treat – and one day prevent – the potential connections between firefighting and cancer.”

According to a five year study conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, there are twice as many firefighters in the U.S. with malignant mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, when compared to the general population.

The same study also found that firefighters also have an increased risk of death from lung cancer and leukemia as compared to the general population. 

Deutsch Continues Districtwide Clean Up

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch
City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest) announced Friday he is continuing to take proactive measures to improve the cleanliness of the district’s streets!

Throughout the summer months, Deutsch had several dozen volunteers and summer interns team up and tackle problems throughout the district’s various neighborhoods. The cleanup group operated in partnership with the NYC Department of Sanitation (DOS), the NYC Parks Department, and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection.

Working together, the group addressed many problem areas, such as overgrown weeds that became an eyesore and areas that could attract mosquitoes. In addition, the team cleaned out corner catch-basins before and after storms and cleaned up trash dumped under train trestles throughout our district.

Deutsch also increased funding to the DOS in order to add corner wastebasket pickups in commercial areas in our district. This extra service will minimize the typically overfilled baskets that often spill out onto streets in these much-traversed areas. Deutsch also allocated funding for additional street sweeping throughout the district.

“Keeping our neighborhood clean has always been an uphill battle,” said Deutsch. “There is still plenty of work to be done, and community partnership plays an important role in making lasting improvements. I encourage my constituents to reach out to my office to report locations that may need extra attention.”

Donovan Wants Crackdown on ‘Patient Brokering’

Congressman Dan Donovan
Congressman Dan Donovan

Congressman Dan Donovan (Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) announced he is launching an inquiry into a growing trend in the substance abuse industry – treatment centers or third-party referral services offering cash in exchange for patient referrals, a practice known as “patient brokering.”

Last week, Donovan penned a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell asking whether sufficient legal authority exists for the federal government to investigate and enforce allegations of patient brokering.

“People struggling with addiction are among the most vulnerable populations in a community, and they look to supposed experts for guidance in seeking treatment. It’s cruel and dangerous to base referrals on murky financial arrangements instead of the best interest of the patient. I’m gathering the facts at this stage to see what action is necessary to end abusive patient brokering practices,” said Donovan.

In Donovan’s district – which faces an opioid abuse epidemic – patient brokers from across the country have tried for years to offer compensation to local treatment providers in exchange for referrals.

Donovan’s concern is that the “experts” whom addicts and their families look to for guidance may refer patients to treatment centers based on a secret financial arrangement, not based on what is in the best interest of the patient. New laws in the past decade have expanded private insurance coverage of substance abuse treatment, making the industry more lucrative.

Williams, Weinstein Cut Ribbon On “Alfred J. Vigliante Way”

City Councilman Jumaane Williams
City Councilman Jumaane Williams

City Council Member Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) and Assembly Member Helene Weinstein on Saturday hosted a ceremony co-name  the corner of East 49th and Foster Avenue “Alfred J. Vigliante Way,” after Alfred Vigliante, a multi-decorated World War II veteran. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Good Conduct Medal.

In 1972, Vigliante founded the East 49th Street Block Association, and organized charity fundraisers, food drives. He also developed programs to serve underprivileged children and Brooklyn veterans returning home from the Vietnam War.

Also on hand for the ceremony were the Vigliante Family, James Brandow, Commander VFW Post 107, and Ken Gordon, film curator and family friend.

Richardson Conversation & Cocktail Fundraiser

Assembly Member Diana Richardson
Assembly Member Diana Richardson

Assembly Member Diana Richardson (Crown Heights, Lefferts Gardens) is holding a conversation & cocktail fundraiser on Wednesday.

All are welcome to come out and get the opportunity to connect with leaders, business owners, tastemakers and residents of the 43rd Assembly District to sip on cocktails and engage in delightful conversation.

The fundraiser is slated for between 6-9 p.m., Wednesday, August 31 at Maxwell Restaurant & Bar, 259 Kingston Avenue in Crown Heights.