See Something, Say Something … or Don’t (631) 271-7500 EJSmythco.com March 2020
The recent changes to the criminal justice law in New York have created some very unusual circumstances. Aside from the ongoing jailbreaks from our county jails, district attorneys are now required to reveal the identity and contact information of all witnesses directly to the defendant within 15 days of indictment. This disclosure requirement applies to undercover cops and civilian informants, as well. This may sound fair at first, but it is a radical departure from decades of criminal procedure, and the potential consequences are devastating. You can read the new law yourself by looking up the New York State Criminal Procedure Law §245. confidential, unless the witness testifies at trial. There is a common sense reason for this: A defendant facing decades in prison would have an overwhelming temptation to influence the testimonies of witnesses or prevent them altogether. Recently in Nassau County, a witness who was scheduled to testify against two MS-13 gang members was beaten to death by the defendants. His murder occurred just two days after his identity was revealed to the defendants. Politicians are claiming that this is simply a coincidence and had nothing to do with the new witness disclosure laws. Whether this is true or not, I’m worried we’ll see more incidents like this occurring because of this flawed new law. Some proponents of this new law call it “fear-mongering,” but this ignores the reality that the new law unnecessarily puts the public at foreseeable risk. In the past, the names and contact information of witnesses remained
their names and contact information turned over to defendants if they are under the district attorney’s direction or control or are named in the DA’s file. Recruiting volunteers to serve as first responders is difficult enough. This new law makes it even more difficult for department chiefs to recruit new members. The unintended consequence may be the requirement to go to paid firefighters. This would be enormously expensive for taxpayers and could lead to the disappearance of volunteer firefighters, who have been great examples of public service and sources of tremendous community pride.
However, people going about their lives will think twice if they know the potential consequences of this new law. This leads to serious moral questions that people can only answer for themselves. Do you report a drunk driver? Do you report suspected child abuse in your neighborhood? How do you advise your teenager who comes home from a party and tells you they witnessed a sexual assault? If you are the victim of a crime, will witnesses come forward? This law applies to town code violations, as well. You can no longer anonymously report noise complaints or illegal apartments without your name being revealed. First responders, including volunteer firefighters and EMTs who respond to the scene of a crime, arson, domestic violence call, or DWI accident are all fact witnesses. They may have
There is no good explanation for what is going on in New York State right now.
So, what does it mean for you? If you witness a crime, reporting it is the right thing to do.
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THE 2 MOST COMMON WAYS CRIMINALS STEAL FROM SENIORS AND HOW TO SPOT THEM
receive a fake check in the mail, but by the time it bounces, the scammers are gone and they’ve taken the money. If you ever receive a contract from an unknown entity out of nowhere, you should start seeing red flags. Unless you remember entering a contest, there is no chance you’ve won something. And it’s vital to understand that it is never safe to give out financial information over the phone or via email.
Scamming older adults has become big business. According to the American Journal for Public Health, an estimated 5 percent of seniors are hoodwinked by criminals every year, and that statistic is thought to be a steep underestimate since so many scams go unreported. To stem the tide of seniors unknowingly giving $36 billion to scammers annually, it’s important for retirees and their loved ones to get savvy on the subject.
“tech support” representative, they can sort it out. They may also ask you to install a piece of software on your device or provide credit card information to “validate your software.” The fact is that well-known tech companies will never send unsolicited emails to ask for your personal or financial information, and they definitely won’t ask you to install some shady software on your computer. If you ever receive a call out of the blue from“Microsoft,” hang up the phone immediately. The first step to stopping these criminals in their tracks is to be aware of their tactics. With these tips in your arsenal, you’ll be able to defend yourself and your bank account effectively.
Here are two of the most common scams older folks fall prey to — and how to avoid them.
Computer Software Service Fraud This type of scam is slightly more
Advanced Fee Fraud The most common con in 2017 and 2018 was the classic “You’ve won a sweepstakes!” scam. Victims are told they’ve won some exorbitant amount of money, but they must pay a fee to receive the prize. After the “fee” is paid, victims
sophisticated. First, a hacker will call a victim and claim to be a member of a tech support team or an employee from a trusted company like Microsoft or Apple. Then, they’ll tell the victim there is a problem with their phone or computer and that if they cooperate with the
THE FIGHT OF THE CENTURY How a Battle of Boxers Captivated the World
Frazier earned two championship belts through major knockout fights. But when Ali settled his court case and came to reclaim his title, Frazier wasn’t ready to give it up easily. Ringside seats for the fight sold for today’s equivalent of over $1,000. Millions watched the broadcast in over 50 countries around the world, and Madison Square Garden sold out to a crowd of 20,455 spectators. The fighters possessed polar opposite tactics, backgrounds, and social impacts, but when it came to skill, they were evenly matched. The fight captivated the nation. As Sports Illustrated put it at the time, “The thrust of this fight on the public consciousness is incalculable. It has been a ceaseless whir that seems to have grown in decibel with each new soliloquy by Ali, with each dead calm promise by Frazier.” The fight exceeded all expectations with a fully engrossing 15 rounds. For the first quarter of the match, it seemed Ali would best his opponent, but Frazier came back with fury. Even though Ali continued to rise to his feet round after round, Frazier emerged victorious by the slimmest of margins, dealing Ali his first professional loss ever. The landmark event highlighted an unforgettable night of skillful prowess like the world had never seen. Even though the title fight was only the beginning of the rivalry between the two boxers, the matchup rightfully took its place as one of the greatest fights in the history of the sport.
On March 8, 1971, all eyes were on the world of boxing as people watched what would become known as “The Fight of the Century.” It was one of the most anticipated matchups the sport had ever arranged: Current heavyweight champion Joe Frazier and former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali were finally facing off, the first time two undefeated boxers would fight each other for the heavyweight title. Spectators were hungry for a battle. Both fighters held rightful claims to the title of world heavyweight champion. Ali won it in 1964 and successfully defended it for several years, but he was stripped of the title during a legal battle over his induction into the U.S. armed forces. In his absence from the sport,
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TAKE A BREAK
One of the greatest things about March Madness is that you don’t have to be a huge college basketball fan to get in on the fun. Kids of all ages can fill out brackets — or have a parent fill one out for them — and watch their picks duke it out on the court. While healthy competition among family members WHOSE PICKS WILL GO ALL THE WAY? March Madness Fun for the Whole Family
can be fun all on its own, check out the following tips if you’re looking to go the extra mile and reap as much fun from March Madness as you can.
TURN EACH GAME INTO AN EVENT. Not every kid may like watching basketball, but if they fill out a bracket, then they might gain at least a passing interest in who will win each game. To elevate their interest, turn
PESTO CHICKEN WITH BLISTERED TOMATOES
each March Madness matchup into a little party. It doesn’t have to be fancy; make fun snacks to eat while you watch or bet pieces of candy on who will have the most points to create great family bonding opportunities.
Brighten up after a cold, dark winter with this fresh and flavorful springtime dish.
• • • • • •
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, pounded to a 1-inch thickness Salt and pepper to taste 1/4 cup whole-wheat panko
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted 6 tbsp spinach pesto 2 cups cherry tomatoes 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced 1 tsp red wine vinegar
REWARD THE WINNERS WITH PRIZES. Offer prizes to each round winner as well as the overall bracket winner to get the whole family involved. Small prize ideas for each round can include a homemade dinner of the winner’s choice, a week’s supply of their favorite snack, or a coupon for getting out of a chore. Whoever wins the whole tournament (or makes it the furthest with their bracket) deserves a bigger reward. Offer them the chance to see a movie of their choice in theaters or to eat a meal at their favorite restaurant. CREATE A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY. Learning math or geography might not sound like your child’s idea of fun, but it can be when they learn it through the lens of March Madness. See if your kids would be interested in understanding the inner workings of the ranking system or studying where some of the qualifying colleges are located on a map of the United States. They may find it so interesting that they don’t even realize they’re learning valuable skills.
1. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil. 2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add it to pan. Cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side, then remove pan from heat. 3. In a bowl, combine panko, Parmesan cheese, and butter. 4. Spread pesto over chicken and top with panko mixture. 5. Broil chicken for 2 minutes on high heat until browned. 6. In a skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. 7. Add tomatoes and cook for 6 minutes. 8. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. 9. Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper, and add red wine vinegar. 10. Serve tomatoes with broiled chicken.
Inspired by CookingLight.com
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
See Something, Say Something … or Don’t
2 Tactics Used to Steal From Older Adults Boxing’s Greatest Battle
Pesto Chicken With Blistered Tomatoes March Madness Fun for the Whole Family
New York City’s Chaotic Annual Tradition
SMASHED MIRRORS, MAIMED SOFAS, AND MISSING BED-SCREWS THE DAY EVERYONE IN NEW YORK CITY MOVED
explanation, however, is the May 1 move commemorated the day Dutch colonizers “moved” to Manhattan in the first place. The Moving Day tradition began vanishing in the early 20th century because many cartmen and housing builders were drafted during WorldWar I, leaving fewer movers and less available housing. Additionally, the construction of the New York City subway gave other tenants rapid access to more housing options outside Manhattan. Finally, after many cartmen were again drafted in WWII, the tradition officially ended in 1945.
and frontiersman Davy Crockett called it an “awful calamity”when he discovered the event in 1834. Still, some people loved Moving Day. Long Island farmers took their carts into the city on May 1 and charged as much as a week’s wages to move desperate tenants’ belongings to their new homes, which was a tidy sum in those days. Children were also fond of Moving Day because they got the day off school to help their families navigate the tumultuous time. A few prominent theories have emerged about the origins of this tradition. Some posit that May 1 coincided with the English celebration of May Day. Others say it morphed out of an event where servants would look for new employers. The most well-known
Moving is the worst. The costs of hiring a moving company and the sheer amount of time it takes to physically move everything make the whole affair an aggravating mess. And if you thought moving just one house on your street was terrible, imagine the chaos that would ensue if everyone in your whole city moved on the same day. That’s exactly what happened in New York City for nearly two centuries. FromColonial times until the end ofWorldWar II, May 1 was Moving Day in NewYork. On that day, every lease in the city ended, and pandemonium reigned in the streets as everyone scurried to their new homes. Eyewitness accounts of Moving Day describe the tradition as sheer mayhem. An English writer said Moving Day looked like“a population flying from the plague,”
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