Showing posts with label AIDS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AIDS. Show all posts

Monday, June 13, 2016

GAY CIVIL RIGHTS ARE THE NEW IGNORED RIGHTS

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A ACTIVIST'S VIEWPOINT

Story By: James Edstrom
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Omar Mateen




Gay rights are the new ignored rights, just like when African Americans got equal rights many years ago and were ignored, the same thing is happening to the gay movement. Gays are the new ignored minority.



The massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub early yesterday has been described as a "domestic terror incident," with at least 50 dead and 53 injured, officials said, making it the worst mass shooting in U.S. history and the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil since the events of Sept. 11, 2001.



The shooter has been identified by officials as Omar Mateen of St. Lucie County, Florida, a U.S.-born citizen with Afghani parents. After the shooting began, he called 911 to pledge his allegiance to ISIS, according to law enforcement officials.



ISIS supporters have cheered the massacre online and an ISIS communique referred to the shooter as an ISIS "fighter," but there’s no evidence that ISIS directed or had prior knowledge of the attack, terrorism observers told ABC News.



EVEN NEW YORK CITY IGNORES GAY RIGHTS


My big war right now is the war between myself and the City Of New York along with the landlord St Nicks Alliance that the city has allowed to practice and operate ANTI-AIDS and ANTI-GAY housing policies.


While a regular person can go to the city for help if they are sick, the same is not true with someone sick with AIDS. A regular person with Cancer or diabetes can go to NYC for housing help and there are no strings attached. A person with AIDS can go to the city for help with housing and medicine and the city and the landlords will go out of their way to break the laws of The Americans With Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act and Rent Laws, and they do not even blink a eye when doing so.


The Mayor and the members of New York's City Council can preach and preach that Gays are equal, My lawsuits will prove another thing.


When you are sick with AIDS, you are required to have caseworkers even know you do not want the services and besides the point, In the case of St Nicks Alliance, there are no services anyway, yet you are forced to meet with these useless caseworkers and if you don't, the city will OK a eviction. To top it off, St Nicks Alliance is paid for services that are not rendered. St Nicks Alliance also was allowed to forge my leases and when a city employee told her bosses that she was at the lease signing and they were forged, the city refused to act. We proved abuse by St Nicks Tenants and employees and we proved we were living with mice and rats. The city did nothing but rule against us. The courts will rule against them next!


This is not just St Nicks Alliance. It is a assortment of landlords that have found a cash cow with sick people with AIDS. It's the two and a half Billion Fraud in New York City and city officials just do not care. Going in front of the City Council to tell them about the abuses and I was ignored by Councilman Steven Levin and Corey Johnson, two people who claim they are AIDS activists.


Even with a Supreme Court Lawsuit and a Federal Lawsuit against St Nicks Alliance and The City Of New York, nothing is done to stop the abuses. In the Supreme Court Case, St Nicks Alliance employees ignore subpoenas, ignore discovery demands and ignore the law of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court lets them get away with it. St Nicks Lawyers ignore e-mails, ignore phone calls from my lawyers and only show up when we file a motion to default the case in our favor. Then the court gives them more time to comply and they never do. Almost two years now and we have gone almost no where. It is also interesting to note that St Nicks Alliance in in violation of the city contract, but the city refuses to even address the issue. The city keeps paying for services that are not rendered. The city keeps paying for St Nicks Alliance to abuse people with AIDS.


LAWS THAT ST NICKS ALLIANCE BREAKS WITH CITY'S BLESSING


 Keep in mind, the below rules are against rent stabilization laws, The Americans With Disability Act and Federal Housing Laws among other laws.  St Nicks Alliance breaks all these rules with New York City's blessing. With St Nicks Alliance, it's all about the money no matter who they abuse, no matter what laws they break.


 Forced visits from caseworkers


Forced to turn over medical records


No dogs or cats, even know everyone in the building has them. Cats would have come in handy in St Nicks Alliance's rat infested building.


Not allowed to have a third chain lock, not allowed to hang pictures on wall, not allowed to paint apartment, not allowed to carpet. Not allowed to make copy of apartment keys. This is just a sample that by law every tenant is allowed to do, but if you are GAY & HIV positive, you can not have these simple rights. You do have these rights, but St Nicks Alliance will break the law to make sure you comply. Complain, they go to the city for a eviction. And the city will back them up.


NYC HAS PAID OFF GAY RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS
 


There is not much help anymore for Gays, lesbians, Transgenders and People With AIDS. The organizations that used to battle for us are now being paid off by grants from the city. Years ago we could go for help and these organizations would fight the city and in some cases take the city to court. They went after bad landlords, but now with the city bribing these organizations with grants, there is little to no help anymore. If our rights are being violated by the city or these landlords, these organizations refuse to help. They will not bite the hand that feeds them. The city is guilty of breaking RICO Laws as well as so many others. We will prove this in court.

 

So GAY Is The new BLACK. It all looks good on paper just like the black civil rights movement did, but our rights are just not there. The shooting is very tragic, but it's just the beginning until the government enforces the laws that they brag about. Our Council Members Steven Levin and Corey Johnson put on a good show, but they have ignored a two and a half billion dollar fraud that only benefit their landlord friends and not people with AIDS. I told them at a city council hearing and they ignored.



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

CHARLIE SHEEN CAN AFFORD HIS HIV MEDICINES

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 THE WAR AGAINST PEOPLE WITH HIV-AIDS

Story By: James Edstrom
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Charlie Sheen And James Edstrom



First of all, Charlie Sheen is a very nice guy. I met him a couple of times, he is sweet, caring and funny. I applaud him for telling the world about his status, he should have done it sooner though and not been blackmailed by these ruthless people.


Being diagnosed with HIV is very hard. You are in shock, you think your going to die and you start making plans to die. But even worse is the abuse you receive from the city of New York trying to find a way to stay in a home and to pay for your medicine to stay alive.


When I was told I had full blown AIDS in 2001, days after September 11th, my whole life changed. I was so sick, I could not pay my rent, I could not afford my medicine and having HIV was still not accepted. My doctors sent me to the City's HRA HASA HIV unit which in turn gave me even more horror. They made promises they never kept, they abused me till I finally had it and called my high powered politician friends who contacted the commissioner. But this was just the beginning, the beginning of years of abuse, the beginning of years of being threatened with homelessness by the HRA and their corrupt landlords, being forced to live with mice and rats and when I complained, the abuse got worse.


The last few years I was living on Maujer Street owned by St Nicks Alliance. Right away my son and I were being abused by tenants and caseworkers from St Nicks, because I had AIDS. The more I complained, the more they abused me. Our life was threatened by St Nicks tenants, St Nicks Alliance employees were always threatening us with eviction if we did not do what they told us too. Here we were living in a rent stabilized apartment where we paid our rent, and we had no rights.


We went to the city and complained. They refused to do anything. Here we were, me with full blown AIDS and my son who I adopted and took off the streets. We proved to the city that we were living with mice and rats, we proved tenants were abusing us and we proved the landlord St Nicks Alliance forged our lease agreements. The city still ruled against us. Their own employees who were at the lease signing testified that they were at the lease signing and we never agreed to caseworkers and other things and the leases were forged, yet the city ruled against us.


Rent laws are clear and so is the Americans With Disability Act. Persons with disabilities must have equal or better housing. St Nicks Alliance refused to abide by the law and the HRA refused to enforce their contract with St Nicks Alliance which states that they must comply with all ADA laws. After endless e mails to the Commish, the Deputy Commish, phone conversations with them both and endless e mails to HRA HASA personal, I was forced to file in Supreme Court and to go public that I had AIDS in the New York Daily News.


I complained about the mice and rats, no one did anything. St Nicks Alliance has violations going back years for mice and rats, yet they did nothing. I was bitten in my bed one night. Still they did nothing. Tenants were outside my windows yelling move white boys move and we have to get the AIDS faggots out, the city did nothing and St Nicks Alliance did nothing. I complained about the drug dealing in the building. St Nicks Alliance told me I should be careful at what I say, I could be sued for slander. They refused to do anything. But lo and behold, St Nicks Property Manager Haydee Cordero was recently arrested for money laundering for a Heroin drug cartel. St Nicks Alliance owns or operates around 80 buildings in the Brooklyn area. I told them about the drug dealing and they ignored. They even refused to give video to the police department when I witnessed a deal in our lobby.


When I filed the lawsuit, St Nicks employees came to the building and took the hard drive on the security system. They also took the security reports. St Nicks Alliance refuses to turn them over to us as required by law. There are also hundreds of e mails they refuse to turn over, they gave us around ten. In them St Nicks employees Michael Rochford and Frank Lang joke about the mice and rats. Replys are blocked out. They refuse to comply with the law. Another lawsuit was filed in Federal Court last week by Courtney Crawford. He is being abused by St Nicks Alliance employees and the same tenants in the building who abused us. St Nicks Alliance is trying to evict Mr. Crawford because he has a dog, something everyone in the building has, but St Nicks Alliance thinks it's right for them to discriminate against people with AIDS.


Still the HRA refuses to step in and pull the contract from St Nicks Alliance. Lawsuits in Supreme Court, Lawsuits in Federal Court, and the city continues to allow this alleged Not-For_Profit to get city contracts. 


The abuses have gone on for so many years in the city's HRA-HASA system with these providers and it has to stop. Thousands of people are being abused in this system that costs a Billion A Year to the taxpayers, A system that abuses people with AIDS who need housing and most of all, need their medicine. My Medicine costs over three thousand a month. Someone like Charlie Sheen can afford this, but most people can't and end up very sick and even die. 


I am out of this fake provider system and out of abusive St Nicks Alliance. My lawyer bills are through the roof and since St Nicks Alliance refuses to follow the law and turn over videos, security books and e mails, we are spending so much money on motions trying to get them. What is St Nicks Alliance scared of? I'll tell you, they are abusing people with AIDS, they are breaking several laws, some of them Federal Laws and they run a corrupt operation that provides no services to anyone with AIDS. They live off the taxpayers of New York City and the Federal Government. Most of all, they live off the sick people who suffer with AIDS. Persons with AIDS are trying to stay alive and St Nicks Alliance is profiting off them.


I am glad Charlie Sheen came out for having HIV. I understand what he was going through being blackmailed and getting to courage to stand up and fight and to tell the public he has HIV. I had to do it last year in the NY Daily News. It was not easy, but St Nicks Alliance and the HRA left me no option but to admit I was sick and fight. I hope Charlie continues fighting for the rights for people with HIV. I hipe he give me a call.



Saturday, October 04, 2014

PHILANTHROPIST JEAN SHAFIROFF WEARS ZANG TOI

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The New Yorker's For Children Gala
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Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff



Recently The New Yorker's For Children Gala was held at Cipriani's 42nd Street. Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff was snapped in a very high fashion Gown by designer Zang Toi. The event raised needed monies for children with AIDS in foster care in New York City. 


Find out how you can help this great cause by visiting their website HERE.



 Photo By: Owen Hoffman/Patrick McMullan

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

' A NORMAL HEART' IS AN OUTSTANDING PRESENTATION

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THE GLORIOUS CORNER

Story By: G. H. Harding
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Larry Kramer


Ryan Murphy
 A NORMAL HEART --- Ever watch something that just exceeds your expectations on every level? HBO’s A Normal Heart, which premiered this past weekend, was such an exceptional production, that I will go on record right now as saying it’s the best thing I've seen this year. Larry Kramer’s poignant, pounding, play, which first premiered in 1985, created a furor of its own since it denounced everyone from then-NYC Mayor Ed Koch to President Reagan who steadfastly never mentioned the word AIDS. As People magazine said in a great review, “The Normal Heart isn't a period piece or a cautionary tale; it’s a bulletin from the front lines, a heart-stopping report about the terrifying progress of AIDS as it sweeps through and decimates Manhattan’s gay population.”



The pacing from director Ryan Murphy is just superb. Though the play was presented at various times, there’s no question that the fly in the ointment was Kramer himself; volatile, distant, angry … two previous movie incarnations failed because common ground could not be found. Knowing what we do now, it’s hard to fathom that so many people looked the other way. And so many facets of government, from major cities to the White House- were years late in acknowledging the spread of the disease, worsening its impact.



The scene in which Kramer (as Ned Weeks) is confronted by a White House official is just chilling. The aide just wants to know whether you could contract the disease from a hooker … that’s it. The reading between the lines is positively stirring.



As good as the words are (they are, after all based on fact) the performance by Mark Ruffalo is positively stunning. I don't recall him as good as this before. He’s in almost very scene and his performance never falters; certainly the best performance in anything I've yet seen this year. Matt Bomer (as Ned’s afflicted lover, Felix) is a revelation. Also here; Jim Parsons (outstanding); Alfred Molina; BD Wong; Joe Mantello; Denis O’Hare; and a wondrous Julia Roberts, all deliver superior work.



I well remember this time in New York and they were dark days indeed.



A thoroughly compelling presentation; outstanding!



MAD MEN’S WATERLOO --- Mad Men’s season finale Sunday was pretty much par for the course this season; it started slowly, then picked up steam and then ended with a bang.



The one buzz word that kept coming up was vision: be it the marvelous Neil Armstrong moonwalk and landing that captivated everyone; or, Peggy Olsen finally nailing a pitch perfect pitch for herself; or, John Slattery’s Roger Sterling making a deal with the devil to retain control of his company (and, saving Don Draper’s job) and forcing out Jim Cutler (Harry Hamlin), or, the brilliant song-and-dance exit of Bert Cooper (Robert Morse), singing “The Best Things In Life Are free” that had Don Draper seeing the whole scene in a dreamlike sequence.



It was quite a show and almost-too-neatly tied everything up for a finale run of shows in 2015.



Creator Matt Weiner directed it and really laid it on the line. It was a brilliant episode from start to finish. Several pundits have said that they're overburdened on this show and ready for it to leave. Me? I'd sure love to have another season. Jon Hamm is nothing short of brilliant as Draper and John Slattery, especially in this episode, nailed it perfectly. But, Robert Morse tonight, was the savior. Pitch perfect indeed.



CNN’s SIXTIES --- The Sixties series (on CNN), which previewed its The British Invasion segment in February, begins a full run May 29 with Television Comes of Age. The British Invasion program will be repeated July 10, and the entire series will be seen in a marathon showing July 3.



The British Invasion features the Beatles, of course, but a lot of other music, too. Those interviewed for the show include Michelle Phillips, Micky Dolenz, Dave Clark, Smokey Robinson and Graham Nash. One of the nice things of the show is that the vintage footage is not all the usual stuff. And The British Invasion isn't the only part in the 10-hour series that discusses music. Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll, which premieres August 7, looks at the cultural changes brought about by 60’s music.



The series takes on all sorts of cultural topics of the decade: television, politics, world events, the assassination of President Kennedy, the war in Vietnam, civil rights, the space race, gay rights and the feminist movement. One hour is devoted to the events of the year 1968.



In connection with the series, a special A Look Into the Sixties exhibit opened today at Vanderbilt Hall in New York's Grand Central Terminal. The exhibit includes a Beatles butcher cover album and other 60’s artifacts.



An opening event at Vanderbilt Hall is on for tonight. Details on Friday.



KERNER PASSES --- I was saddened to learn that producer, writer, and my friend, Kenny Kerner passed away Monday in L. A. Amazingly, Kerner was a friend of my fathers who I met along the way, befriended, and then became a close confidant.



Kerner was involved with the seminal metal-band Dust, which went onto too much industry acclaim. He also produced the song “Midnight Train To Georgia” for Gladys Knight And The Pips and “Brother Louie” for the band Stories. He was also involved with Kiss (producing their first two albums), and was a writer for a number of West Coast-music magazines.



Kiss posted this on their web site this morning: "We are shocked to hear of Kenny Kerner's passing. He was an early supporter of the band and co-produced our first two albums. He additionally did some terrific work that produced numerous hits including 'Midnight Train To Georgia' for Gladys Knight And The Pips and 'Brother Louie' for Stories. He remained a friend till the end and we will never forget his contributions to our early years."



He was terrifically knowledgeable, fun and a great hang. He will be missed.



CLOSING NOTES – Jersey Boy’s Donnie Kehr at Hedwig And The Angry Inch and hanging backstage with stars Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall. Jersey Boys, the movie directed by Clint Eastwood opens June 20 …



Speaking of Mad Men; wasn't Harry Hamlin just excellent this series of shows as Jim Cutler. A veteran in every sense of the word, he brought a much needed shot in the arm to the show. Bravo Harry! …



NBC's Hannibal ended their second season with just a stunning episode. Ratings were up; the show's been renewed ... it should be a revelatory third season. All I will say is that has now been revealed as the killer ...



PR-Pasha David Salidor in East Hampton this past weekend, about to pull into a parking spot, was caught off guard by a Mercedes SUV doing the same thing. In the driver's seat? Alec Baldwin ...



From journalist Anne Raso: On this day 50 years ago, Marianne Faithful recorded the Mick Jagger and Keith Richards song “As Tears Go By,”accompanied by future Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page on guitar and John Paul Jones on bass.


Monday, April 07, 2014

ALISON GERTZ FOUNDATION FOR AIDS EDUCATION FETE

Mary Louise Parker



Jodie Snyder Morel And Danielle Snyder



Carol Gertz And John Demsey



Bronson Van Wyck



Victoria Leacock Hoffman With Dini von Mueffling And Stefani Greenfield



Recently The Love Heals, the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education raised over $600,000 at their gala event at The Four Seasons Restaurant in Manhattan. All proceeds from the evening directly support Love Heals’ efforts to protect the next generation of New Yorkers from HIV.



John Demsey, Group President of The Estée Lauder Companies and Chairman of the M"A"C AIDS Fund, Danielle Snyder, Co-Founder and Creative Director, and Jodie Snyder Morel, Co-Founder and CEO, of DANNIJO and Bronson van Wyck, Founder of Workshop of the World and Van Wyck & Van Wyck were honored for their outstanding philanthropic work in the area of HIV and AIDS. InStyle’s Hal Rubenstein emceed the evening and presided over an exciting live auction that raised $185,000.



Guests included co-founders, Dini von Mueffling, Stefani Greenfield and Victoria Leacock Hoffman, actors Mary Louise Parker, Kelly Rutherford and Kyle Maclachlan, Geraldo Rivera, TV personality and chef Carla Hall, Kelly Bensimon, fashion designer Rachel Roy, Broadway’s Justin Vivian Bond, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Amy Astley, Ann Caruso, Lady Lilliana Cavendish, Somers Farkas, Jill Furman, Sophie B. Hawkins, Jill and Harry Kargman, interior designer Celerie Kemble, Coco and Arie Kopelman, Julie Macklowe, Sean MacPherson and Rachelle Hruska MacPherson, Jill Martin, Annelise Peterson, Fiona and Eric Rudin, Jean Shafiroff and Derek Warburton among others.



Thursday, February 20, 2014

GOV. CUOMO AND MAYOR DE BLASIO'S HIV/AIDS PLAN

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Governor Cuomo And Mayor De Blasio Announce Affordable Housing Protection For Low-Income New Yorkers Living With HIV/AIDS

Story By: James Edstrom
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo




We applaud Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio's decision to help New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS. It will save money and will save lives.


I remember a few years back I had a friend that lived in supportive housing where his rent was capped at 30 percent. He wanted to move on and won a lottery for a affordable housing apartment in Manhattan. The building was beautiful, affordable housing was mixed in with the rich apartment renters. The only problem was my friend had limited disability checks coming in every month, his rent went from around two hundred a month to about five hundred a month, leaving him with nothing to buy food with. He lasted only two months and finally he had to decide, pay the rent and don't eat or become homeless and have food. He chose being homeless. And he ended up in the hospital endless times due to being homeless, which in the long run cost the city and state more money than if he had a apartment in the first place.


Lucky after a few months, he was able to get another supportive apartment with low rent, but he did not need supportive housing, and by him taking another apartment meant that someone with HIV/AIDS that did need the services, did not have a place to go. This is the major problem with supportive housing. Even if the person with HIV/AIDS does not need caretakers and supportive housing, they are forced to stay there, because that is all they can afford. So they stay there for years, taking up a apartment that could be used for someone that really needs the services. Supportive housing also is for people with mental Disabilities, War Veterans and other health problems as well as other issues. So this bill will allow people that do not need these services to move on. It will open up housing for people that really need it.


Perhaps one more thing can be accomplished next. Currently the state and city will pay twenty dollars per month towards the electric bills of people with HIV/AIDS. This is just not enough. I can not tell you how many people I know with HIV/AIDS who are always on a final disconnect for their electric bill. Their bills range from a hundred a month in winter to over two hundred in the summer when electricity demand is high and so are the prices. Either the city or state or both should raise the help they can give with these bills. Better yet, Con Edison of New York City should give a deep discount towards people with HIV/AIDS as well as people with other disabilities. Considering how much CON ED makes a month in profit, maybe a bill is needed in Albany, that would require this utility to give people on limited income electricity and gas at cost. It is only right considering how much money Con Ed rakes in every month.


On another note, Dr. Frank R. Lipton from The Human Resources Administration (HRA), who has been called the quintessential unsung hero in media outlets, should be named the new Commissioner of The HRA. Under Dr. Lipton's direction, almost 15,000 supportive housing apartments have been created. Considered widely successful, Dr. Lipton has put New York City on the right track to end homelessness.


But Their Are Problems With HIV/AIDS Programs




There are some problems though. Currently a provider of Scatter Site and Supportive housing can do what they want. If a tenant has a complaint about services received by a provider, there is no outlet for the tenant to complain and take action against the provider. It is the provider that has the power to take the tenant on, but the tenant has no recourse to say to the HRA, "Hey, I am not receiving services". Currently apartment providers for the HRA can call level one, two and three meetings against the tenant and the next step is eviction. But if the provider is not living up to the contract for which they are being paid, no action can be taken against the landlord provider. This has to change, as providers are taking advantage of this loophole and people with disabilities, HIV/AIDS, Mental or other, have no recourse. They can be abused by the provider, which happens more often than anyone can imagine. I have heard more horror stories on this issue and recently I wrote Dr. Lipton asking him to put safeguards in place, so the City's HRA HASA program for people with HIV/AIDS, can take action against a provider who is being paid for services and not rendering them.


Another example of the abuses of providers. People with HIV/AIDS are told they will have Case Management. Yet none of the providers can tell you what that is. They demand that the person living with HIV/AIDS meet with them every week or every other week, yet provide no services. The caseworker will sit there and ask the client, what have you done, yet they never have any answers to what they have done to make the person living with HIV/AIDS live a easier life.


One recent example is St. Nicks Alliance of Brooklyn. I spoke to a caseworker who was recently fired because she wanted to help people with HIV/AIDS. She was told she did not manage her time well. But the reason she was not managing her time well, was she really was trying to help her clients. Helping takes time.


When I put the question to St Nicks Alliance about their Scatter Site program, they denied they had anything to do with their founding fathers, St. Nicks Alliance The Landlord. They said they were a separate entity, and the Landlord had nothing to do with the Scatter Site program. I could have believed this, since I live in one of St. Nicks buildings in Williamsburg. But when this case worker lost her job, she was called down to Frank Lang's office.When doing a search on Frank Lang, this is what several websites say.


Frank Lang is the Director of Housing for the St. Nicks Alliance since 2006 overseeing all of St. Nicks’ housing programs including real estate development, tenant assistance and property management. St. Nicks, founded in 1975, is one of the premiere community development companies in NYC.


St. Nicks Alliance Scatter Site programs separate from  St. Nicks Alliance the landlord? I THINK NOT!


When I e-mailed the fired caseworker on what St. Nicks Alliance Scatter Site Case Management meant, this was her reply.


"Case management is an intangible construct. I don't know how they measure their results of case management. They are unbelievably infatuated with getting program fees. But you are right, they are not exactly managing anything."


Now for anyone who wonders what program fees are, they are the rent paid by the tenant and the monies paid to the program by the City, State and the HRA.


Now in a e-mail to Michelle Sainsbury Deputy Director of Supportive Housing, AKA Scatter Site, I have requested her definition of Case Management. I look forward to her reply, if there is one. 


Now to keep things out in the open, St Nicks Alliance is also my landlord. Since day one here, we have been abused by several of their tenants. Since day one, we have been plagued with Mice and Rats and many maintenance issues. We were robbed the first hour we were here and their tenants harass us day and night. They call us faggots, white trash and everything else in the book. The police refuse to help almost every time and the St Nicks Alliance is protecting these tenants. Recently St. Nicks Alliance showed up to finally fix some of the problems, after 15 months of complaints, but the vermin problem persists. Building manager Hayde Cordero also showed up to speak to me. But she refuses to enforce the building rules. This one tenant who is always outside our window, smoking pot, drinking and yelling and screaming is allowed to continue in this manner. When I asked Ms. Cordero to take action, she said she had no proof. I told her she did. I told her she had numerous police and security reports, and most recently this tenant was arrested in our stairwell smoking pot and drinking with his friends. I also informed her that ST. Nicks Alliance's recent installation of cameras everywhere would show that this tenant was in front of my windows for hours at a time on several nights, smoking pot and drinking with his friends. I told Cordero that the police have been to this persons apartment a dozen times, St. Nicks personal have been to this guys apartment several times and he is not going to stop. He does not care and refuses to follow any rules of this building. The harassment is pure racism, plain and simple. If I was acting in this manner, if I was calling other tenants the N WORD and I was breaking all these rules, I would be evicted. No doubt about it.


Considering we are very quiet, and we don't break any rules, I can only assume not only are these tenants anti-gay, they are racist. And since St. Nicks Alliance refused to enforce the rules against these tenants, I can only assume they are also racist. We will be writing about this more very soon, but you can read our first story HERE. You can also be sure, St. Nicks Alliance will try to get revenge against my son and I, but I am very prepared for that.



The following statement was sent to us by The Governor's Office.



Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have announced a new affordable housing protection for low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. With today’s announcement, New Yorkers who are permanently disabled by HIV/AIDS and receive rental assistance will pay no more than 30 percent of their income toward their rent. Without this protection, more than 10,000 New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS are denied affordable housing and required to pay upwards of 70 percent of their disability income toward their rent.



“This action will ensure that thousands of New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS will no longer be forced to choose between paying their rent or paying for food and other essential costs of living,” Governor Cuomo said. “By implementing a 30 percent income cap for low-income renters with HIV/AIDS, we are protecting New Yorkers in need and making our communities stronger, healthier, and more compassionate for all.”



Mayor de Blasio said, "I'm very proud to work with Governor Cuomo to provide some measure of security to people struggling with the debilitating effects of HIV-AIDS. And we come to the table ready to shoulder two-thirds of this program's costs because we are committed to lifting up the most vulnerable among us. This is the mark of a compassionate city."



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY IN DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

Dallas Buyers Club




Matthew McConaughey stars in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB as real-life Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof, whose free-wheeling life was overturned in 1985 when he was diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. These were the early days of the AIDS epidemic, and the U.S. was divided over how to combat the virus. Ron, now shunned and ostracized by many of his old friends, and bereft of government-approved effective medicines, decided to take matters in his own hands, tracking down alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal. Bypassing the establishment, the entrepreneurial Woodroof joined forces with an unlikely band of renegades and outcasts - who he once would have shunned - and established a hugely successful "buyers' club." Their shared struggle for dignity and acceptance is a uniquely American story of the transformative power of resilience.


Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

Writers: Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto

Distributor: Focus Features

Genre: Drama

Saturday, March 09, 2013

ALISON GERTZ FOUNDATION'S LOVE HEALS FETE

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Love Heals 2013 Gala Raises
$400,000 To Support AIDS Education
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Jean Shafiroff



Sonja Tremont-Morgan




Sade Baderinwa



Jean Shafiroff And Julian Niccolini




Alexandra Lebenthal




Amy Sacco




Cheyenne Jackson




Matthew Settle




Kelly Rutherford




Mary Alice Stephenson




Dana Auslander




Hannah Bronfman





Thursday evening, March 7th, Love Heals, the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education raised $400,000 at their gala event at the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan. All proceeds from the evening directly support Love Heals’ efforts to protect the next generation of New Yorkers from HIV. The evening included cocktails and hors d’oeuvres followed by a seated dinner and program at which Dana Auslander, Richard Farley and Mary Alice Stephenson were honored. It was emceed by InStyle’s Hal Rubenstein.



Guests included co-founders, Dini von Mueffling, Stefani Greenfield and Victoria Leacock Hoffman, actors Kelly Rutherford and Matthew Settle, actor & dj Eric West, Top Model Keenyah Hill, Real Housewife of New York Sonja Morgan, WABC news anchor Sade Baderinwa, CNN’s Felicia Taylor, Bloomberg’s Matt Miller, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Hannah Bronfman, Alexandra Lebenthal, Coralie Charriol Paul, Lucy Sykes & Euan Rellie, Amy Sacco, Ann Caruso, Avis Richards, Federico Pratesi of the luxury linen brand Pratesi, jewelry designers Landon Slane and Alexis Bittar, , clothing designer Susan Beischel of skin, interior designer Darren Henault, Michael Lorber, Vanessa von Bismark and Jean Shafiroff, among others.

Deepak Chopra (via video) and famed photographer reality show star Nigel Barker presented Stephenson’s award. In a heartfelt speech, Stephenson was moved to tears when talking about the powerful accomplishments of Love Heals over the past 21 years. Senator Chuck Schumer presented Farley’s award via video, and Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Nicole Blumberg presented Auslander with her award. Following, award winning singer and actor Cheyenne Jackson enchanted guests with his moving rendition of “What A Wonderful World” and “Auld Lang Syne” as a single song.



AIDS activist by day, and entertainer by night, speaker Jah Love ensured there was not a dry eye in the house with his empowering speech about living with HIV/AIDS and how his personal supporters and Love Heals encouraged him to use his story to advocate for the HIV/AIDS community. Love is currently featured in HIV Stops With Me, a national social marketing campaign seen throughout New York at bus stops and subway stations.



Emcee Hal Rubenstein entertained guests throughout dinner and presided over an exciting auction that included a St. Barth’s vacation with a roundtrip flight for two on a Tradewind Aviation premium scheduled flight, lodging in a luxury villa at Hotel Le Sereno, car rental, complimentary massages and dinners, White & Warren eyemasks, and a $500 intimate apparel package from skin. The bidders went wild when an additional roundtrip flight for two to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard was added mid-auction, netting $20,000 for the prize.



About Love Heals








Founded in 1992 to carry on the work of the late AIDS activist Ali Gertz, Love Heals empowers young people to become leaders by giving them the knowledge, skills and confidence to protect themselves and their communities from HIV. Love Heals’ HIV-positive speakers break down stigma and make the disease real for young people living in communities hardest hit by the epidemic. The leading provider of HIV/AIDS education in New York City public schools, Love Heals has partnered with more than 700 schools and community groups throughout the metropolitan area, educating and empowering nearly 600,000 young people, parents, guardians, educators, and community leaders.




Saturday, August 11, 2012

CRASH BACK ON THE BLOCK NEW YORK EXHIBIT

John CRASH Matos



Antiquorum is proud to announce it will host “CRASH: Back on the Block,” an exhibit of new works by celebrated graffiti artist and avid watch collector John CRASH Matos. The show will be held September 13 through October 6 at Antiquorum’s Gallery space on 57th Street and Madison Avenue in New York City and will feature approximately 12 new large-scale works, as well as a “pop-up shop” of watches for sale by Antiquorum.



For the first time since he famously painted English guitarist and singer-songwriter Eric Clapton’s five guitars, one of which sold at auction for over $321,000 in 2004, CRASH will hand paint another special object — this time, a Patek Philippe clock. “I’ll be using pop-inspired colors to paint the clock, something a little ‘street’, but keeping some of the refined elements intact,” said CRASH. The proceeds will be donated to the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA).



“We are thrilled to host CRASH’s exhibition in Antiquorum’s Gallery,” said Evan Zimmermann, President & CEO, Antiquorum. “It is an exciting collaboration between two symbiotic disciplines — art and watch collecting — both of them rooted in creativity and innovation and which share a unique and personal connection with collectors.”



In conjunction with this exceptional event, Antiquorum will host a “pop-up shop,” featuring a selection of fine and rare vintage watches, contemporary wristwatches and small clocks for sale throughout the exhibition. The items will be carefully curated and selected by Antiquorum’s renowned experts and include offerings from luxury brands such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Cartier and Rolex, according to Michael Friedman, Horological Director of Antiquorum. Friedman, who has collaborated with CRASH on numerous projects in the past, partnered with him on the idea to host the exhibition at Antiquorum's Gallery.



The show’s name references the heyday of the New York Art Scene when it had a large presence in midtown before shifting to Chelsea in the 1980s, according to CRASH. Today, he is one of the more successful, underground and respected figures of the movement and is thrilled to return to the same block that gave graffiti art its start almost 30 years ago. With a show that gives a nod to his roots while showcasing his artistic growth and maturity, one could say it is a return that has been subconsciously planned — almost 30 years in the making.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

CHRISTOPHER WILSON'S "LIVING WITH HENRY"

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The 2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival with Beyond Boundaries

Presents

LIVING WITH HENRY
a musical epidemic

Book, Music and Lyrics by Christopher Wilson

Directed and Choreographed by Donna Marie Baratta

Musical Direction by James Higgins
****



Ryan Kelly And Dale Miller



After several well-received Canadian productions, The New York Musical Theatre Festival will offer Christopher Wilson’s Living With Henry its US Premiere. Directed by Donna Marie Baratta, Henry will play from July 23- 29 at the The PTC Performance Space: 555 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at nymf.org or by calling (212) 352-3101.



Inspired by a true story, Michael is HIV positive, but it’s not a death sentence – not anymore. Michael just has to learn to live with it... but that’s not as simple as it sounds. A musical drama that explores the fears, complications and realities of coping with a complex, chronic condition that affects every day, every relationship, every breath, Living With Henry is sometimes comic, sometimes heartbreaking, but always passionate, bold and stunningly honest.



Framing HIV as a chronic illness, this theatrical work poignantly explores present day issues such as stigma, disclosure, interpersonal relationships, medication management and mental health. Most importantly, this engaging, entertaining and thought-provoking musical strives to examine and challenge the misunderstanding currently associated with living with HIV/AIDS.



When I was first diagnosed with HIV over a decade ago, I was devastated; Living With Henry was part of my “therapy” and the first thing I have ever written. I soon came to realize that there are very few, if any, modern theatrical tales of living with HIV. I am so very excited and honored to share “Henry” with NY audiences.

-Christopher Wilson, writer, Living With Henry



Living With Henry features some of Toronto, Canada’s best professional musical theatre talents including: Dora Award winner Ryan Kelly - Michael (The Normal Heart, Mamma Mia); Dale Miller - Henry (Les Miserables, Forever Plaid); Lizzie Kurtz - Jenni (CATS, Forever Swing); John Edwards - Mathew (Rocky Horror, Hairspray); Mary Kelly - Mom (Napolean, Nunsense); and Gavin Hope - Peter (Lion King, RENT). Stage Managed by Alexa Carroll; Assistant Stage Managed by Jessica Parr; with Set, Costume and Lighting Design by Jennifer Goodman (Stratford Shakespeare Festival), General Management by Justin Huebener. 


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

BROADWAY CARES EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS FETE

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WALTER MCBRIDE
ON
42ND STREET
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Hunter Ryan Herdlicka


Bryan Batt


Rebecca Luker And Danny Burstein


Andrea McArdle


Donny Hehr


Faith Dane


Norm Lewis


Paige Davis And Patrick Page



Paige Davis along with Norm Lewis, Donny Hehr, Andrea McArdle, Faith Dane, Patrick Page and others, attended the Broadway Cares / Equity Fights Aids Broadway Bears XV Charity auction at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City.


Photos By: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

BENEFACTOR REBECCA WANG FIGHTS AIDS

Rebecca Wang



Elton John has garnered support from some of the world's most philanthropic icons in the entertainment industry and with the recent endorsement Rebecca Wang, she continues to add to that distinguished list. A key benefactor at the 19th Annual Oscar Viewing Party, Rebecca Wang resumed her position again for a second-straight year this year as benefactor of the Elton John AIDS Foundation Viewing Party. This annual Oscar Viewing Party has taken place since 1992 and has been a showcase of elegance and generosity for two decades as Hollywood's most iconic stars gather during the Academy Awards to donate their time and money to fight the epidemic of HIV/AIDS. Following Elton's viewing party, Rebecca Wang attended the exclusive Vanity Fair party as guest of the magazine's long time editor Graydon Carter.



Rebecca Wang, based out of London and Los Angeles, is an executive producer, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. Her first Hollywood film, PASSION PLAY, features renowned actors including Academy Award Nominees Mickey Rourke (THE WRESTLER) and Bill Murray (LOST IN TRANSLATION), accompanied by actress Megan Fox (TRANSFORMERS). Her previous charitable efforts have spanned health, humanitarian aid, and education in the arts, making her a perfect fit with Elton's crusade. Ms. Wang, an avid supporter of organizations such as the International Red Cross, British Red Cross, and the Prince's Drawing School, is delighted to support the Elton John AIDS Foundation for a second year. Wang is also a devoted patron of the arts. A patron of the Royal Academy of Arts, the National Gallery, the Serpentine Gallery, and the Tate Modern, which collectively contain some of the most prized art in world, featuring works from Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, and Andy Warhol.


Photo Courtesy Of: WireImage


Monday, April 25, 2011

LARRY KRAMER'S THE NORMAL HEART RELIVED

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The Normal Heart – Why Larry Kramer is Still Angry
– And Why We Should Be Too

Story By: Edward Callaghan
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Larry Kramer And Joe Mantello



Revisiting Larry Kramer’s seminal play on the AIDS plague, The Normal Heart after 25 years when it first sounded the alarm about an unresponsive and uncaring political system and a media establishment that back-paged news of the epidemic, I was unsure what to expect. Who would come? Would the power of his accusations still resonate? Would anyone care? Would this once fierce manifesto be relevant? My queries were quickly answered – it was a full house. Sadly, his charges are still valid. Hopefully someone still cares and YES! The Normal Heart is not only relevant but a finger in the eye of a world that would rather look away than realize this for what it is – a plague not confined to gay men but to every human being on the planet and - except for minor efforts by a handful of advocates - little has been done and millions continue to be infected each year.


I was thrilled to see on this past cold rainy Saturday a horde of people mobbed in front of the John Golden Theater. At first glance, it was just your average matinee crowd of well-to-do suburbanites but then I noticed many young couples straight and gay - never knowing a world without AIDS - and the male on male kisses upon greeting were more prevalent and less self-conscious than I remembered at my first viewing in 1985. Maybe things had changed………
From the very first scene, I realized how little things had changed. The frustration and anger of lead character Ned Weeks (clearly modeled after the author) could be felt this weekend in any number of living rooms. Actor Joe Mantello who plays Weeks took me back decades to the time when Larry Kramer used his pulpit at the New York Native like a modern day Paul Revere. One felt the fear all over again.


His fellow traveler in sounding the warning, Dr. Emma Brookner, herself a victim of another plague – polio - is sublimely portrayed by Ellen Barkin in her Broadway debut who with one impassioned monologue brought the audience to its feet for a three minute ovation. Ellen’s performance brought to mind my dear friend Chris Norwood who for almost two decades has run Health People an organization in the South Bronx offering peer to peer support for women with AIDS and teens many orphaned by the plague. Chris’ program has been replicated all over the world, two years ago she was one of the Women of Peace nominated for a group Nobel Peace Prize yet she had to literally chain herself to our current Mayor’s mansion in a desperate attempt to protest budget cuts. An act also worthy of a standing ovation.


Director Joel Grey (with an acknowledged assist from George C. Wolfe) carries the audience on a juggernaut from laughter to tears to anger, with each scene opening with an ever-growing list of victims. By play’s end, the stage walls and ceilings were covered with thousands of names – clear enough for viewers to recognize and gasp at the sight of a loved one.


Larry did it again And so did Joel and this memorable cast – some portraying characters I knew in real life which welled up a jumble of memories.


Stunned, I sat with my soul-mate John in our seats while people trickled out into the rain and tried to deal with the anger with which I was left -anger at a world that first termed this plague GRID – gay related infectious disease. Anger at the slow response from the governments that have moved at snail’s pace. Anger at the pharmaceutical companies more interested in life extending drugs than a cure or a vaccine as there is no money in that.

I am angry that the promise of so many of my friends will never be realized.


That Willi Smith will never again deck me out in a great linen jacket. That my darling tall blond Joey Welsh will never again lift the velvet rope for me at the hot club du jour. That Rudolf Nureyev will never again soar. That Keith Pruitt will never again write a brilliant concerto. That Carole Nietzel will never again evoke Marilyn Monroe. That Gene Anthony Ray will never again leap across 46th Street. That Howard Rollins will never again command the stage – or screen with his fierceness. That Michel Bennett will never again rehearse “A Chorus Line”. That Danny Rizzi will never again dazzle me with his beautiful smile and his sparkling blue eyes. That I will never again see Paul Gerro, Kevin Hayes, Michael O’Toole, Damian Stoddard, Paula Frattarre, Noel Rodriguez – all taken too soon.


That so many young artists, writers, musicians, poets, teachers and friends have been taken from me –and the world.


Angrier that so many still carrying the disease live lives of desperation – not knowing what the next day will bring.


I am angry that my old rolodex has more persons dead than alive.


As we left, we ran into a gentleman attired in a colorful Sherpa hat and an orange jacket handing out a letter. Hardly inconspicuous and that was the point, it was Larry Kramer, at 75, still fighting. Bless you Larry.


The Normal Heart opens for a limited engagement on Wednesday April 27. Do not miss this.


A letter from Larry Kramer


Larry Kramer




Please know that everything in The Normal Heart happened. These were and are real people who lived and spoke and died, and are presented here as best I could. Several more have died since, including Bruce, whose name was Paul Popham, and Tommy, whose name was Rodger McFarlane and who become my best friend, and Emma, whose name was Dr. Linda Laubenstein. She died after a return bout of polio and another trip to an iron lung. Rodger, after building three gay/AIDS agencies from the ground up, committed suicide in despair. On his deathbed at Memorial, Paul called me (we'd not spoken since our last fight in this play) and told me to never stop fighting.

Four members of the original cast died as well, including my dear sweet friend Brad Davis, the original Ned, whom I knew from practically the moment he got off the bus from Florida, a shy kid so very intent on become a fine actor, which he did.

Please know that AIDS is a worldwide plague.

Please know that no country in the world, including this one, especially this one, has ever called it a plague or acknowledged it as a plague, or dealt with it as a plague.

Please know that there is no cure.

Please know that after all this time the amount of money being spent to find a cure is still miniscule, still almost invisible, still impossible to locate in any national health budget, and still totally uncoordinated.

Please know that here in America, case numbers continue to rise in every category. In much of the rest of the world - Russia, India, Southeast Asia, Africa - the numbers of the infected and the dying are so grotesquely high that they are rarely acknowledged.

Please know that all efforts at prevention and education continue their unending record of abject failure.

Please know that there is no one in charge of this plague. This is a war for which there is no general and for which there has never been a general. How can you win a war with no one in charge?

Please know that beginning with Ronald Reagan (who would not say the word 'AIDS' publicly for seven years), every single president has said nothing and done nothing, or in the case of the current president, says the right things and then doesn't do them.

Please know that most medications for HIV/AIDS are inhumanly expensive and that government funding for the poor to obtain them is dwindling and often unavailable.

Please know that the pharmaceutical companies are among the most evil and greedy nightmares ever loosed on humankind. What 'research' they embark upon is calculated only toward finding newer drugs to keep us, just barely, from dying, but not to make us better or, god forbid, cured.

Please know that an awful lot of people have needlessly died and will continue to needlessly die because of any and all of the above.

Please know that the world has suffered at the very least some 75 million infections and 35 million deaths. When the action of the play that you have just seen begins, there were 41.

I have never seen such wrongs as this plague, in all its guises, represents, and continues to say about us all.


A Note From James Edstrom: I agree with every single thing Larry Kramer and Ed Callaghan say. I have lost all my childhood friends, I have lost relatives and most of all, I have lost hope that their will ever be a cure. There is too much money for the drug companies to keep everyone on their pills. If they found a cure, they would lose billions of dollars every month in profits. I just sit here watching friend after friend die. I sit here watching all the suffering that goes along with this horrible disease. I watch on my visits to Cherry Grove in Fire Island. Every summer on my visits to the famed gay mecca, my summer beach friends have disappeared and died from Aids.

I think about what the world would be if we never had Aids. I think of all the laughter I could still have if all my friends did not die. I miss them. I miss Michael, Keith, Joel, Robert and hundreds of other friends that brought joy to my life and brought so much joy to others. I think about the talent lost. The artists, The club promoters that made New York City so much fun and just everyday friends who would brighten up my day. I miss it all. Aids did not just kill my friends, it killed a huge part of me!


Photos By: Walter McBride/Retna