Tapped In

Written by NYPress on . Posted in News West Side Spirit, West Side Spirit.


Compiled by Megan Bungeroth and Jon Lentz

Espaillat Eyes Senate & Concedes to Rangel

City & State reports that State Sen.Adriano Espaillat, who conceded defeat on Monday in his contested primary race against Rep. Charles Rangel, declined to say whether he would run for re-election to the state Senate.
But Espaillat signaled that he would run for his seat, revealing at a press conference Monday that he had given district leaders permission to circulate petitions on his behalf after the June 26 congressional primary.
“I authorized some of the district leaders to begin circulating petitions after the 26th, after Election Day, and I will be considering my personal decision as to whether or not I will accept those signatures and move forward with re-election,” he told reporters outside his district office. “I promise you that in 48 hours, I will have that answer for you.”
Petitions to run for the state Senate and Assembly are due by Thursday. A source close to Mark Levine, an Espaillat ally who had been planning to run for Espaillat’s seat, also confirmed the senator will run for re-election. The source said that Espaillat will use his own petition signatures and not get on the ballot through a Levine vacancy committee, as had been speculated.
During the campaign, Espaillat said he only had his sights on the congressional seat, not his own. Rangel, the longtime congressman who faced his toughest primary challenge in over four decades in office, seized on Espaillat’s comments, saying that he didn’t know where the senator would find a new job when he lost.
Whether he runs for re-election or not, Espaillat could be a serious candidate for Rangel’s congressional seat again in two years. Espaillat, who is Dominican, came within 1,000 votes of ousting the incumbent, capitalizing on changing demographics and redrawn lines that made Latinos a majority in the district.
“There’s no question I come out of this process strengthened,” Espaillat said. “I think two years down the line is a long time. I will not make a decision right here, but I feel very strongly that I have been strengthened in this process.”
Espaillat could also find himself taking on the state’s other leading Dominican elected official, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares. Linares said he would run for Espaillat’s state Senate seat after Espaillat announced his run for Congress, and reiterated his intention to run when Rangel initially declared victory.

Synagogues Get Anti-Terror Dough

Last week, U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that New York would be receiving $3.4 million from the Department of Homeland Security to protect Jewish schools and temples vulnerable to terrorist attacks. The money, which is over 30 percent of the total allocated for the country, will be distributed to 42 organizations throughout the state. Rep. Jerry Nadler secured $825,000 of that grant money for 11 Jewish nonprofit
organizations in his district, one of which is the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue at 30 W. 68th St.
Nadler was the author of the High-Risk Non-Profit Security Enhancement Act,
legislation that creates grants for “soft targets” of terrorism, like schools and religious institutions, to enhance their safety measures and ensure they are able to protect themselves from attack. He worked with the United Jewish Communities, the American Red Cross, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, United Way, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the American Hospital Association and the UJA Federation of New York to secure the funding and identify recipients.
“This funding will make it possible for more charitable institutions and the people they serve to get the proper tools to secure themselves against potential terrorist attacks,” Nadler said in a statement. “The threat against these organizations is, unfortunately, very real, and it is the obligation of government to protect potential targets from attacks by those who espouse hatred and violence.”
The Stephen Wise Free Synagogue will receive $75,000 in funding for security purposes for Fiscal Year 2012.

Disabling the Training Wheels

A special training camp for children with disabilities will be held in New York City for the first time this summer. Lose the Training Wheels, a nonprofit organization that teaches people with disabilities to ride two-wheeled bicycles, is holding a free camp for children Aug. 6–10 in Brooklyn sponsored by the National Down Syndrome Society and the Lyle Foundation. The event will be held at the Aviator Sports & Event Center in Floyd Bennett Field, at 3159 Flatbush Ave.
The program uses special adaptive bicycles that are designed to gradually transition kids to riding regular two-wheeled bikes without any assistance.
Children who ride a bike on their own gain the benefit of independent transportation, a new form of exercise and a boost in self-esteem.
Participants must be at least 8 years old and have a disability. They must be able to walk without an assistive device and sidestep to both sides, as well as be under 220 pounds and have a minimum inseam measurement (taken from the floor with sneakers on) of 20 inches. All participants must be able to attend a 75-minute session for each of the five days of camp. Those with their own two-wheeled bikes are strongly encouraged to bring them to the first day of camp in order for instructors to plan on transitioning the child by the end of the week.
Registration is limited; email bikecampnyc@gmail.com for more information
or to sign up.

Photo by Andrew Schwartz

Slacking off: Adam Minegar carefully balances himself while walking across a slack rope line in Riverside Park.

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