• NYC thief in Amazon vest swipes packages, punches employee

    NYC thief in Amazon vest swipes packages, punches employee

    A thief disguised as an Amazon employee fought a Queens constructing worker as he stole an armful of packages from the placement’s foyer, police stated, in simply the most recent of a rising development of supply robberies plaguing the Large Apple.

    The brazen criminal — carrying an Amazon supply vest — struck at round 10:18 a.m. on Nov. 9 at a constructing close to 44th Avenue and 84th Road, the place he was caught on digicam carrying bins from the constructing’s widespread area, cops revealed Wednesday.

    The 49-year-old superintendent who was clocked within the face by the thief, stated the incident was the identical story “occurring all over the place” within the metropolis.

    “Crime is escalating,” the tremendous, who recognized himself as Tom, informed The Submit. “Why not do it, if there is no such thing as a repercussion? Crime is exploding, and at what level does it cease? It’s getting worse and we’d like options.”

    Whereas the criminal was nonetheless at massive with an undetermined quantity of loot, members of the constructing business stated the crime was simply certainly one of a sample they really feel is being fueled by lax penalties for such offenses. 

    “Persons are conscious of these no-punishment [policies] for decrease stage crimes,” stated Andrzej, a constructing tremendous from Queens, who requested that his final title not be used.

    “And alternatively, if a police officer goes to arrest somebody, he already is aware of that OK, he’s gonna lose an hour, an hour and a half to do the report and every thing,” he added. “And that particular person is gonna just about stroll out of the precinct ahead of he finishes the report — it’s type of discouraging then to do their job.”

    NYC thief in Amazon vest swipes packages, punches employee
    The suspect was caught on video swiping packages whereas dressed as an Amazon deliveryman.

    The issue can be being brought on by rising reliance on on-line purchasing – and more and more subtle crooks, constructing managers stated. 

    Within the case of the phony Amazon employee, the wrongdoer rode into the storage on a bicycle whereas a resident was driving out. From there, he had entry to the bundle room, Tom stated.

    “I’m certain he’s been right here earlier than, as a result of he knew the place to go,” he stated. “Any person had informed me they noticed somebody within the constructing, taking issues, after which I noticed packages have been lacking from the bundle room. I noticed him within the storage, he was making an attempt to take extra stuff, and I assume we had no alternative [but fight].”

    One in seven People have seen no less than one supply bundle stolen by means of 2022 up to now, a current examine by C+R Analysis stated. Individuals who reside in cities usually tend to be victims of porch pirates, the examine stated, though precise variety of packages stolen in New York Metropolis wasn’t clear.

    Supply-package theft is an issue all year long in Gotham, however residents are on excessive alert in the course of the vacation season with 84% of People plan to have no less than one bundle delivered this 12 months, the examine stated. Some 28% stated they deliberate to buy extra on-line this 12 months than in 2021, the examine stated.

    MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle posted Nest video on Twitter on Tuesday exhibiting she had been a sufferer of a porch pirate, who got here in by means of a gate in her New York Metropolis dwelling and took objects from close to a entrance door.

    “To whomever stole the packages in entrance of my door, I hope you might have good use for my daughter’s Christmas present costume,” she wrote. “It’s too late to get one other & she might be completely heartbroken & should you get actually sweaty in sports activities garments you stole- that’s not sweat. It’s child’s tears.”

    As bundle thefts grew to become widespread in unlocked constructing vestibules, many managers within the 5 boroughs put in business-access supply programs in order that packages could possibly be left in secured areas as an alternative of within the unlocked foyers. Amazon additionally makes use of dropoff lockers the place orders will be picked up.

    However the issues proceed, Andrzej stated.

    “Typically they do go away the bundle within the foyers, so just about anybody can have entry to the foyers,” he stated. Packages are sometimes delivered to the unsuitable constructing too, making them extra inclined to getting swiped, he added.

    “What we expertise right here, most certainly, a whole lot of trainees being placed on these routes and that’s the place the issue is,” he informed The Submit. “The packages are being left in a distinct location, that’s what we really feel is the issue.’

    The Submit has reached out to Amazon for remark.

    Some thieves have been utilizing inventive methods to get into buildings the place bins could also be saved, resembling one serial robber who used a bank card to get by means of locked entrance doorways. Jeffrey Lopez, 50, who had 69 prior arrests, was busted in April for stealing a bundle from a constructing on East 90th Road, about three months after he was booked on 5 counts on the identical cost.

    That very same month, a 60-year-old man was bludgeoned with a brick exterior a Harlem constructing when he confronted a lady he believed was snatching packages from the foyer. The sufferer was hospitalized with extreme lacerations in that caught-on-video confrontation. 

  • NYC principal’s spouse rakes in money from Dominican academics paying steep hire

    NYC principal’s spouse rakes in money from Dominican academics paying steep hire

    The spouse of a Bronx principal collects hire cash from academics recruited from the Dominican Republic and compelled to share a co-op apparently owned by the principal’s mom.

    Town Division of Training introduced with nice fanfare in September that it had employed 25 bilingual Dominican academics to work with Spanish-speaking college students. However this system is now embroiled in accusations that the foreigners have been managed and intimidated by a gaggle of DOE directors profiting as their landlord.

    Along with a Bronx duplex the place 11 Dominican academics had been housed by ADASA, the Affiliation of Dominican-American Supervisors and Directors, three others had been put right into a three-bedroom co-op — every charged $1,350 to $1,400 a month, plus safety deposits, academics stated.

    Emmanuel Polanco, 39, the primary vice chairman of ADASA and MS 80 principal — eliminated this month pending an investigation into this system — runs the rental together with his spouse, Sterling Báez, 32, a DOE elementary trainer within the Bronx.

    The couple maintain keys to the academics’ rooms and mailbox, the academics stated. Additionally they set guidelines: “We can not obtain guests, Ms. Polanco informed us.”

    NYC principal’s spouse rakes in money from Dominican academics paying steep hire
    The unit is a three-bedroom house in a co-op constructing bought again in 2006.
    J.C. Rice

    Determined makes an attempt by the academics to save cash had been rejected: “We needed to maneuver into the identical bed room [and split the rent], however they stated ‘No you can not. You must stay individually.’”

    The three-bedroom house in a 67-unit co-op constructing at 2866 Marion Ave. was bought for $155,000 in 2006 by Juana Polanco-Abreu, 61, who’s listed in information because the principal’s mom.

    Polanco-Abreu acquired a $10,000 mortgage from town’s Housing, Preservation and Improvement division underneath a program to assist low- and middle-income individuals purchase their first properties, company officers stated in response to an inquiry.

    One of many Dominican academics within the Marion Avenue co-op, Rosa Minier, stated she was required to hire a room there after being informed that her husband and three kids, ages 12, 7 and 5, couldn’t be part of her in New York for a minimum of a yr.

    “I cry each evening,” she stated of lacking her youngsters.

    However Minier enjoys instructing on the Worldwide Faculty for Liberal Arts: “I really like my job.”

    The three ladies share a kitchen, toilet and front room — which final week had simply an previous, dismantled fish tank in it.

    The wife of Bronx Principal Emmanuel Polanco, Sterling Báez, 32, collects rent money from some of the Dominican Republic teachers recruited to work in NYC.
    Sterling Báez, a DOE elementary faculty trainer, helps run the rental.

    “I pay my hire to Polanco’s spouse,” one stated, exhibiting a screenshot of a $1,012 fee on a digital banking app to “Esterlin Adasa” with a telephone quantity that information present belongs to Báez.

    Báez, who posts attractive photographs of herself on Fb, is a trainer at PS 595 The Colibrí Neighborhood Faculty within the Bronx.

    Báez didn’t reply to an e-mail asking about her position. Town Division of Training and Polanco didn’t reply to requests for remark.

    On Friday, District 10 Superintendent Maribel Torres-Hulla despatched a letter to the MS 80 neighborhood saying that Kenyatta Williams, an assistant principal, will take over as Performing Principal. She didn’t point out Polanco, who was “reassigned” on Nov. 2.

    The Dominican trainer program is now underneath investigation by metropolis and federal authorities.

    Since The Publish and CBS first reported complaints of exploitation and intimidation of the Dominican academics final week, extra have emerged.

    “I’ve continued to obtain allegations even after the investigation was initiated,” Bronx state Sen. Luis Sepúlveda stated Friday. He wouldn’t talk about the allegations, saying he referred them to the DOE.

    ADASA put 11 academics in a cramped two-family home on Baychester Avenue within the Bronx, charging 10 of them $1,450 a month every, and one $1,300 a month, The Publish has reported. The overall $15,800 in collected income would web a $8,900 revenue over the $6,900 ADASA pays to lease the duplex.

    Emmanuel Polanco at his home at 2171 Hughes Avenue in the Bronx on January 13th, 2018.
    Emmanuel Polanco was eliminated as principal of MS 80 pending an investigation.
    Richard Harbus

    The academics had been warned, a number of stated, that they may lose their NYC jobs and J-1 visas in the event that they objected to the phrases.

    “You may be part of the opposite academics, or you possibly can voluntarily resign,” Ramon Alexander Suriel stated he was informed in an Oct. 14 “ultimatum assembly” at MS 80 with Polanco and an MS 80 staffer.

    Suriel, 50, who introduced his spouse and two youngsters, ages 2 and 4, to share the New York expertise, stated he was informed to ship his household again with out him.

    He give up, and returned to the DR — after incurring some $3,500 in bills as a consequence of ADASA botching a set of airline tickets to NYC, forcing him to pay once more for a second flight and in a single day stays. 

    “I need my a refund,” he fumed, including that ADASA has did not refund his misplaced cash. “Nobody is accountable for it.”

    The NYC academics’ union stated it is going to look into authorized assist for Suriel and different Dominican academics, stated UFT spokeswoman Alison Gendar.

    Final week, the opposite Dominican academics renting rooms acquired a letter in protection of Polanco and ADASA from Marianne Mason, government director of the Cordell Hull Basis for Worldwide Training, a New York-based group that sponsors the visas.

    She blamed the academics’ complaints on “tradition shock” and “fairly a couple of factors of confusion.”

    Teachers pay rent to Polanco's wife on a digital banking app.
    Lecturers pay hire to Polanco’s spouse on a digital banking app.

    She stated DOE directors offered lodging to spare the academics the  “irritating and troublesome” job of discovering their very own. Whereas charging hire, ADASA covers different bills akin to utilities, Web and furnishings, she stated.

    “Emmanuel Polanco and all the ADASA group have finished all this work to offer, to contribute, and to not revenue from you,” Mason wrote.

    Mason warned the academics they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the muse that “provides us the suitable to cancel your visa if you don’t behave within the spirit of alternate or for default as a trainer.”

    She denied that ADASA compelled the academics to stay within the buildings it leased: “You had been at all times given the chance to stay someplace else and you continue to can.”

    Reached by The Publish, Mason stated of the academics, “They’re mendacity.”

    Mason’s letter calls for that the Dominicans “contact and proper the information of any reporters who’ve interviewed you.”

  • Teaching

    Solely on 2: Bronx principal Emmanuel Polanco accused of shaking down lecturers delivered to NYC from Dominican Republic

    NEW YORK – A landmark program to convey lecturers right here from the Dominican Republic to show bilingual schooling is being probed by metropolis and federal investigators amid allegations some had been subjected to a shakedown scheme and threatened with lack of their visas in the event that they did not pay up. 

    As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer stories, MS 80 within the Bronx is a faculty in turmoil. CBS2 has realized that its principal, Emmanuel Polanco, has been reassigned by Colleges Chancellor David Banks as metropolis and federal investigators sift by way of a sea of disturbing allegations that a number of lecturers introduced right here from the Dominican Republic had been reportedly compelled by the principal to pay shakedown lease funds or have their visas yanked. 

    “I used to be floored by what I heard,” mentioned St. Senator Luis Sepulveda. “I used to be floored. I used to be disturbed… allegations of this type being made, it is virtually a painful expertise as a result of this system was designed to vary the lives of children right here, and the lives of the lecturers.” 

    Sepulveda is speaking a couple of first-of-its-kind program launched into by the Division of Schooling this fall that introduced 25 lecturers from the Dominican Republic to show bilingual schooling in metropolis colleges. Ten had been assigned to MS 80. 

    It is an essential program. Final 12 months greater than 22% of metropolis college students spoke Spanish as their first language. Almost 14% had been studying English as a second language. 

    Sources inform CBS2 the probe began when Sepulveda’s workplace was contacted final month by one of many lecturers assigned to MS 80, charging that she was being compelled by Polanco to pay about $1,800 to lease a single room, or lose her visa. 

    Sepulveda went to the Division of Schooling, which took speedy motion. 

    Sources inform CBS2:

    • The DOE has obtained emails during which the principal verbally abused a number of of the lecturers 
    • On Oct. 29, Polanco reportedly held a gathering with lots of the lecturers, telling them not cooperate with the probe
    • One of many lecturers went again to the Dominican Republic due to the threats

    A spokesman for Banks, who heralded this system when it was first introduced, insisted “we’ll do no matter we are able to to guard and defend our employees from mistreatment associated to their employment.” 

    “If the allegations are true, they create issues for individuals who got here right here. These folks got here right here from the Dominican Republic, searching for an ideal alternative for themselves and their households. They left households. They left their jobs,” Sepulveda mentioned. “They shouldn’t be subjected to this.” 

    Polanco didn’t return a request for remark. Neither did the group that introduced the lecturers right here. 

    The Division of Schooling has employed pro-bono immigration attorneys for every of the lecturers. The company insist it’ll proceed to recruit bilingual lecturers from overseas. 

  • NYC to increase Bronx special education services
    Special Education

    NYC to increase Bronx special education services

    A federal district judge has approved a settlement agreement between the education department and disability rights advocates in the Bronx, resolving a four-year-old lawsuit that challenged the city’s process for allocating certain special education services.

    The settlement, in effect for three years, requires the education department to make a series of changes to the way it provides what are called “related services,” which include occupational therapy and mental health counseling, among other supports for students with disabilities.

    Many schools do not have enough on-site staff to provide these services to all the students who are entitled to them. When that happens, schools can give parents a voucher to cover the cost of the service. But a number of barriers prevent parents from using vouchers. Families sometimes struggle to find providers willing to travel to their neighborhoods, for example, and many providers are simply unresponsive or not taking on more clients.

    As a result, vouchers are often left unused. About half of the 9,154 vouchers issued went unused in the 2015-16 school year, according to a report from the public advocate’s office. The voucher system disadvantages poor neighborhoods the most, particularly those in far-reaching corners of the city that are more difficult for providers to access.

    A 2017 class-action lawsuit brought by nonprofit Bronx Independent Living Services and two students with disabilities in the Bronx challenged the voucher system. The lawsuit argued that the education department was failing to provide appropriate related services and violated the law.

    Last month — four years after the initial lawsuit — a judge authorized a settlement that applies to students in the Bronx who have Individualized Education Programs, or IEPs. The agreement does not remove the voucher program altogether, but it does include policies meant to reduce the city’s reliance on that system.

    The education department must increase the number of occupational therapy supervisor positions in the Bronx from three to five, for example. It will also increase funding by 25% for a loan forgiveness program to attract university students studying to become related services providers to the education department. Hiring decisions must also be made earlier, ahead of the fall semester.

    “The focus is on moving the hiring up earlier in the summer with the hope that this can allow the DOE to better plan their needs for the upcoming school year,” said Rebecca Serbin, staff attorney for Disability Rights Advocates, which served as the plaintiffs’ counsel in the lawsuit.

    Other policies in the agreement are meant to make the voucher system work more efficiently for families in the Bronx. In some cases, students wait weeks to receive their vouchers, which in turn delays the start of their services. The settlement outlines detailed timelines for issuing vouchers. (In most cases, they are to be delivered within 16 days of when school starts.)

    Schools are also required to appoint a non-school-based “related service authorization liaison” whose job is to support parents in using their vouchers or getting make-up services. The education department must also ensure the provider list is accurate and updated.

    “It’s vitally important to our community that they are able to access the services they need when they need them,” said Brett Eisenberg, executive director of Bronx Independent Living Services, a nonprofit that served as a plaintiff in the case and works with students with disabilities. “This agreement really makes sure that happens.”

    The settlement comes at a time when the education department has been struggling to provide adequate services to students with disabilities across the five boroughs. During the pandemic, staffing shortages and virtual learning meant thousands of students missed out on crucial services, such as physical and occupational therapy, that were difficult to administer virtually.

    In an acknowledgment of those disruptions, city officials announced an intensive effort to help students with IEPs. All of those students, roughly 200,000, are eligible for special programming after school and on Saturdays.

    A Saturday programming option is also laid out in the settlement agreement. Bronx students who are eligible for make-up related services can make use of “Saturday Sites,” which will offer occupational therapy and speech therapy. For all other make-up related services, the education department will make alternative arrangements.

    In a statement, the education department recognized the settlement as progress for students with disabilities.

    “It is critical that the needs of all students with disabilities are met, and we’re pleased to have reached this settlement through which we will invest in new programs, processes and resources that will make it easier for families to get support,” education department spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon wrote in an email. “We look forward to the progress and real results students will experience as a result of the settlement.”

    Still, some question whether the agreement goes far enough in addressing the problems with the voucher system.

    Lori Podvesker, a policy expert at INCLUDEnyc, an advocacy group that focuses on special education, noted that to receive make-up services, families must request the education department, a process that puts the burden of accessing services back on parents.

    “It’s outrageous that they are putting the onus back on families,” said Podvesker. She added that she’d like to see the obligations in the settlement document expanded beyond the Bronx to the other four boroughs.

    “These issues are not just limited to the Bronx,” she said. “This is pervasive.”