Archive for the 'News Clipping' Category

A Vote of No Confidence

The following article makes an interesting point about the ineptitude and inability of the NY Board of Elections to count a vote. Overvoting is a common problem with the new voting system implemented in 2010. The fact that the Board allowed “invalid” ballots to be submitted and then tossed out raises many other questions, especially for political candidates like yours truly. It appears to be very convenient for the “powers that be” that the Board “lost” the overvote data for 56% of the election districts in Brooklyn and Queens! Just an interesting fact that hopefully makes voters more aware and more alert when they go to the polls.

Lucretia Regina-Potter, Republican District Leader 49AD

State Board of Elections allows these optical scanning machines to discard your votes.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers who went to the polls in 2010 were disenfranchised thanks to the rank incompetence of the state Board of Elections.

That panel — as opposed to the equally inept city operation — set the procedures for casting paper ballots that are counted by electronic scanners. One basic question was how the scanners would deal with ballots on which voters had filled in two ovals for the same race.

For example, one oval for candidate Andrew Cuomo and one oval for candidate Carl Paladino.

Such multiple voting — termed overvoting — was impossible with the old mechanical voting machines. You could not pull the lever and record your vote if you had flicked two switches in a race.

Numerous voting watchdog groups urged the state board to program scanners so they would spit back a ballot with an overvote, clearly alerting a voter of the need to make a fix.

This was simple. This was certain. This was rejected.

Instead, the board set the scanners to display a confusing message informing voters they had overvoted and — hard to believe — actually enticed people to submit the invalid ballots.

Oh, and those ballots would not count.

The Brennan Center at NYU Law School sued before the election to prevent mass disenfranchisement. The board forged ahead nonetheless. Now, the suit has begun to reveal how often voters cast invalid ballots.

Partial results have discovered 50,000 votes that were invalidated, with more to come. Even getting the data was difficult because half the local boards across the state didn’t have the information. As for the city board, those dim bulbs lost the overvote data for 56% of the election districts in Brooklyn and Queens.

Clarity in the voting booth is critical to credible elections. So, too, a full count of votes. New York’s Board of Elections is delivering neither, and it’s offering only an inadequate fix — such as modifying the confusing message on the scanners to at least say the ballot won’t count. But they’re not sure they can even put that minimal change into place by the 2012 election, now a year away.

Forget it. The scanners should be programmed to reject any ballot that has conflicting multiple votes in the same race.

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Happy Birthday Bensonhurst!

350 years ago Bensonhurst was developing as an important economic and social area of what was to become New York City. Today Bensonhurst is still going strong and remains a vital community in the city. The historical article below tells us about the dynamic figures who played a large part in creating beautiful Southern Brooklyn. Enjoy!

Lucretia Regina-Potter

Happy 350th Birthday, Bensonhurst!

by Joe Teutonico on Dec 22nd, 2011  Bensonhurst Bean

If you live in Bensonhurst – or the historically linked areas of Bath Beach, Dyker Heights, Mapleton and Bay Ridge – feel free to wish your respective hood a hearty 350th b-day.

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, on December 22, 1661 the town of New Utrecht – which at the time encompassed most of Southwestern Brooklyn, was granted a charter by the Dutch West India Company.

The English would take over the province of New Netherland just three years later, renaming it New York.

Prior to 1647, New Utrecht, named for the Dutch city of Utrecht, had been Nyack Indian land.

In that year, the governor of New Netherland granted a deed for the land to Anthony Jansen van Salee, a very intriguing historical figure. Van Salee, a so-called “mulatto”, was the reputed half-Moroccan, half-Dutch son of a wealthy former head of state, New York’s first Muslim and ancestor to today’s high society Vanderbilt family.

From the Eagle:

In 1652, Cornelius van Werckhoven from Utrecht, Netherlands, built a house and a mill and the first European settlers moved in — Cornelius, his two children and their tutor, Jacques Cortelyou.

When van Werckhoven died in 1655, Cortelyou took over leadership of the settlement. He acquired land later occupied by Fort Hamilton, and divided the parcel into 20 plots of 50 acres each. Residents established the New Utrecht Reformed Dutch Church in 1677. The present building, erected in 1828, still stands at 18th Avenue and 83rd Street.

By 1738, New Utrecht had a population 282, of whom 119 were West African slaves. Throughout the 18th and most of the 19th century, the area was part of the bread basket for the growing cities of Brooklyn and New York. The raising of cattle and production of grains, along with cash crops like tobacco, were the town’s main industries.

In 1880, as land was being bought up by land speculators and suburban housing developers, the number of inhabitants reached 4,742. Today, the combined populations of the neighborhoods that once made up the town of New Utrecht probably exceed 300,000.

The completion of the Sea Beach, West End and Coney Island, and Culver railroads in the 1870′s helped bring about the eventual end of Southwestern Brooklyn’s agricultural era. The same rail lines that made New Utrecht’s urbanization possible continue to serve Bensonhurst’s commuters today as part of the New York City Subway system.

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Bensonhurst/Bath Beach/Boro Park-Top Safest Neighborhoods

The following is a report from

Bensonhurst/Bath Beach/Boro Park

9th safest for violent crime

7th safest for property crime

62nd precinct / population 181,981

For decades, Bensonhurst lived with the alternating pride and stigma that came with being a virtually all-white enclave within a diverse city. Italian-Americans, mostly, and Jewish residents, lived in the neighborhood’s well-kept bungalows and apartment houses, in the southern end of Brooklyn, far away from higher crime rates in the rest of the borough.

The 1989 killing of black teen Yusuf Hawkins put the neighborhood in the national spotlight, but New Yorkers had long known Bensonhurst as a place where outsiders were not necessarily welcome. Like all cliches, Bensonhurst may have never been exactly what it was made out to be — and it certainly isn’t today. Russians, Asians, Pakistanis and others live side by side with older residents, mostly in harmony. All of those residents enjoy one of the safest neighborhoods in the city.

Bensonhurst, which enjoys low crime rates in almost every category tracked by the NYPD, comes in at No. 4 for per capita crime in’s Crime & Safety Report. There were just 69 major crimes per 10,000 residents in 2010 in the 62nd Precinct, which covers the area.

Murders remained unchanged at seven from 2009 to 2010, and the rates of all property crimes dropped in 2010, placing the neighborhood at No. 7 for this category.

Unlike in some areas, crime has continued its steady decline in the precinct, with major crimes down 77 percent from 1993 to 2010, led by an 82 percent drop in burglaries and a 77 percent decline in robberies. Car theft was down 91 percent in the same period.

Total crime dropped 6 percent between 2009 and 2010. Robberies were down by 15 percent. Shooting incidents, never a major problem here, dropped to just three for the year. One troubling statistic: rapes more than doubled in 2010, from six to 13.

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