NYPD Commissioner Kelly to Join Council on Foreign Relations

By New York News Network
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has joked that after December 31, when his mayoral term ends, he will be unemployed.

By contrast, New York Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly in an interview with New York Magazine indicated he would not exactly be unemployed or retiring.

Now we know what Commissioner Kelly will be doing January 2014.

Yesterday, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) announced in a press release that he will join the CFR as a distinguished visiting fellow.

Commissioner Kelly will start his fellowship in early January and will work out of the CFR headquarters in New York. According to CFR, he will be concentrating on “counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and other national security issues.”

“Ray Kelly spearheaded the modernization of the New York Police Department. The result is that crime is down and the NYPD’s counterterrorism capabilities are second to none. We are excited and proud to have his experience, expertise, and judgment at the Council,” said CFR President Richard N. Haass.

According to its website, the CFR has a membership of nearly 4,700 people. The CFR’s think tank” named “The David Rockefeller Studies Program,” has eighty full-time and adjunct fellows.

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Stan Brooks: A News Radio Institution 1927-2013

Stan Brooks. Radio News Reporter for 1010 WINS. Photo by Maurice Pinzon

Stan Brooks. Radio News Reporter for 1010 WINS. Photo by Maurice Pinzon

By New York News Network
Stan Brooks was a unique voice covering the news for 1010 WINS radio. He broadcast for decades and was a familiar voice to thousands of New Yorkers. Mr. Brooks died Monday from lung cancer. 

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, in a statement after Mr. Brooks death said, “Nothing ever stopped him from doing the job he loved, a job he did with class and integrity for 50 years. New Yorkers were lucky to have him on the dial.”

“And maybe the most telling measure about him: he was even liked and respected by his most cranky listeners – the many mayors he covered,” Mayor Bloomberg added.

Maurice Pinzon, a photographer who covers City Hall, saw Mr. Brooks just a few weeks ago, and not having seen him for a long time, gave him a hug and said, “You look younger every year.” Mr. Pinzon said he did not know Mr. Brooks had cancer.

The room where radio reporters file their stories at City Hall will be named “The Stan Brooks Radio Room” in Mr. Brooks honor, according to the mayor’s office.

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New York City Council Votes for Restrictions on e-Cigarettes

Council member James  Gennaro & Speaker Christine Quinn. 12.19.13 Photo by Maurice Pinzon

Council member James Gennaro & Speaker Christine Quinn. 12.19.13 Photo by Maurice Pinzon

By New York News Network
On Thursday, the New York City council in its final meeting for the 2010-2013 session voted to ban electronic cigarettes, or “e-cigarettes,” in places where regular cigarettes are restricted.

The legislation, whose prime sponsor was Council member James F. Gennaro, was touted as a major achievement by Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn at a news conference before the vote.  Speaker Quinn indicated that the city council had worked for more than ten years to restrict cigarettes and that e-cigarettes would become an obstacle to those gains. 

“The Smoke-Free Air Act has saved lives, benefited businesses, and reduced the number of young people who start smoking, and end up hooked, ” she said. 

“Using electronic cigarettes in places where smoking is permitted,” Ms. Quinn said, “threatens, I fear, to re-normalize smoking in public places because people are going to be confused.”  She said the use of e-cigarettes was bound to put in jeopardy the “monumental accomplishments” of New York’s efforts to curb smoking.  

The New York City Smoke-Free Air Act bands smoking in numerous public places, bars, restaurants and workplace office buildings.

Council member Gennaro cited a comment by David Sylvia, an Altria Client Services spokesperson who said in an interview with The Daily Beast, “Our company is not in the business of making products for cessation.”

In addition, Mr. Gennaro said, the makers of e-cigarettes had sued the FDA so that those devices would not be considered smoking cessation devices, and thus, not subject to regulation by the FDA. 

Mr. Gennaro said he would take the industry at its word, and therefore, the e-cigarette legislation was simply “a common sense step.”
  
But in an email statement provided to New York News Network, David B. Sutton, a spokesman for Altria, the maker of The MarkTen™ e-cigarette, said, “We also support FDA extending its regulatory authority over all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. FDA will have the authority to determine the appropriate warnings for e-cigarettes.”

“We believe science- and evidence-based FDA regulation can foster innovation in products that may reduce tobacco-related harm,” the statement added.

Altria is opposed to “bans or broad restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes in public places, including indoor spaces,” because “e-cigarettes are different from cigarettes. They produce vapor, not smoke.” And that the “U.S. Surgeon General has not concluded that vapor from e-cigarettes presents health risks to bystanders.”

Nor did significant data. “Regulation of e-cigarette use in public places should follow the
science and evidence, which is still developing,” the statement said.

The legislation will have to be signed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in order to become law. Mayor Bloomberg’s last day in office is in 10 days.

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