Saturday, December 29, 2012

The FCC Announces It Wants To Lower Those High Prison Phone Charges

The FCC Announces It Wants To Lower Those High Prison Phone Charges


Inmates families get hit hard when a loved one makes a call home but what do you think about this decision??


In the age of free phone calls and Skype, one group of people is still paying exorbitant rates for talk time: prisoners. The bill for a typical 15 minute state-to-state call tops $16 in some areas.

That’s because most prisons offer exclusive deals to phone service providers in exchange for astronomical commissions. The Federal Communications Commission labeled interstate inmate calling services (ICS) a government-sponsored “monopoly.”

The FCC wants it broken up. On Friday, the agency opened for public comment its proposed rules to lower interstate prison phone call rates. Its plans include the establishment of an interstate rate benchmark, caps on rates and the end of exclusivity agreements.

The fees providers pay to prisons add 43% on average to the cost of a call, the FCC estimated. As a result, prisoners pay far less for interstate calls in the small handful of states that do not charge commissions. New York, for instance, has banned commissions, and its average per-minute rates are as low as 5 cents per minute — the lowest of all states’ rates. Colorado’s ICS, which does charge commissions to its payphone vendors, is the nation’s most expensive, at 89 cents per minute.

On top of per-minute rates, most ICS operators charge prisoners call-initiation fees, which vary from 50 cents to $3.95 per call.

Prison calling services differ from typical payphones in some crucial ways. They can block inmates from making calls to certain people, including judges or witnesses. They can’t dial 800 or 900 numbers, and phone conversations can be monitored. If a prisoner is repeatedly making a call to the same number, for instance, corrections officers might listen in or record future calls. The systems also periodically notify the recipient that the call is being placed from a jail.

All those features — and the personnel needed to manage the systems — make prison systems more costly to operate than regular payphones. But the wide disparity in ICS rates suggests that some operators are going overboard.

The FCC proposal comes more than a decade after a U.S. District Court dismissed a class action lawsuit initiated by Martha Wright of Washington, who claimed that she paid $1,000 a year to cover the costs of her grandson’s phone calls from various state prisons. The judge in the case referred Wright to the FCC, which she contacted nine years ago.


Images via tumblr

The FCC Announces It Wants To Lower Those High Prison Phone Charges
Sat, 29 Dec 2012 04:44:28 GMT

Maternity wards test new moms for drugs

Maternity wards test new moms for drugs

More than a dozen city maternity wards regularly test new mothers for drugs, then turn the results over to child-protection authorities if they come up positive for pot, the Daily News has learned.

Maternity wards test new moms for drugs
Sat, 29 Dec 2012 10:25:00 GMT

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fw: ALERT! Tell Oxygen TV To BAN Black Minstrel Shows!!

Our Children...our Community... Deserves Better.
Ban This Poison.
Ban This Television Show.
Oxygen Television Network is prepared to broadcast a one hour special celebrating the dysfunction of rapper Shawty Lo...watched by his 11 10 different women...(some may have been underage) as they....argue, beg, fight for emotional, financial support and sexual reward.
What is the difference between this ministrel show and the others which clog the airwaves without proper balance of the beauty and positive aspects of our community??
The children.
The children are front and center. Pining and witnessing their parents' behavior. And it is their children who will hold all of us accountable by allowing them to be exploited internationally in this manner.
What You Can Do?
Sign this petition and forward to your friends. Contact has already been made with the network...and with your voice...this ugliness will not see international airwaves.
If our DEMANDS to cancel the airing of this POISON are not international boycott will be launched against their ADVERTISERS.

Please do One or BOTH:
Or Email:


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Census Bureau Rethinks The Best Way To Measure Race

Census Bureau Rethinks The Best Way To Measure Race

Possible revisions to how the decennial census asks questions about race and ethnicity have raised concerns among some groups that any changes could reduce their population count and thus weaken their electoral clout. The Census Bureau is considering numerous changes to the 2020 survey in an effort to improve the responses of minorities and more [...]

Census Bureau Rethinks The Best Way To Measure Race
The Admin
Fri, 28 Dec 2012 04:52:11 GMT

Swamp: Art Exhibition

Swamp: Art Exhibition

Date: January 1, 2013

Poe Park Visitor Center is pleased to host Swamp, an exhibition that explores our shifting relationship with the natural world. The swamp as a bipolar space—half earth, half water—hints at complex connections between the real and fantastic, renewal and abandonment. Fourteen artists explore the delicate balance between visual imagination, illusion and actual environment. Swamp, curated by Kari Adelaide, is on view from December 19, 2012 - January 18, 2013.

In addition to drawing upon environmental sources, the artists also include ideas of embodiment and themes of fluidity, memory and consciousness. The exhibition conjures New York City’s bygone swamps, such as the Bronx’s former Bear Swamp, as well as Central Park’s present-day bodies of water that were created by damming the natural seepage of a swamp. Swamp acknowledges Frederick Law Olmsted's vision of "undignified tricks of disguise" in his Greensward Plan (the original map for Central Park), which emphasized the illusion of extended space—seemingly natural but completely man-made. Olmsted's vision of land rearrangement led to significant changes in the park’s structure and natural conditions: swamps were drained, ten million carts of soil were brought in and 20,800 barrels of gunpowder were used to loosen rock, for example.

The strikingly diverse and visually rich range of artwork negotiates boundaries between physical landscape and human consciousness. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Shadows in still water, and the like, if too eagerly hunted, become shows merely, and mock us with their unreality.”

Artists exhibited include Bhakti Baxter, Jesse Bransford, Benjamin Butler, Marthe Ramm Fortun, Tamara Gonzales, Scott Hug, Juliet Jacobson, Jose Lerma, Lauren Luloff, David Matorin, Max Razdow, Sigga Björg Sigurðardóttir, Ryan Wallace, Max Warsh.

Start time: 8:00 am

End time: 4:00 pm

Contact phone: (718) 365-5516

Location: Poe Park Visitor Center (in Poe Park)

Swamp: Art Exhibition
Fri, 28 Dec 2012 05:00:03 GMT

Drugs and violence in schools: Does the NRA have a point?

Drugs and violence in schools: Does the NRA have a point?

In the heyday of school drug use, we put police officers in the schools to stop the drug abuse from worsening. So it’s not surprising that National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre proposes the police as front-line defense against drug abusing and mentally ill students or adults bent on gun violence.

Drugs and violence in schools: Does the NRA have a point?
Addictions & Answers
Fri, 28 Dec 2012 11:11:12 GMT

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Tax records show that labor costs at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation rose 58 percent in 2011 and the organization's expenses tripled to $35.6 million as revenues fell, The Wall Street Journal writes:
New York City officials say that 12 MTA-subsidized billboards next to highways in Queens and the Bronx violate zoning regulations, while the transportation authority is challenging the Buildings Department on the restrictions in court, the Times reports:
 A state Supreme Court justice dismissed a lawsuit brought by the New York Retired Public Employees Association challenging a state decision to impose health care cost increases on retired workers negotiated by public employee unions, the Times-Union reports:
The Journal News posted an interactive map of registered handgun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties using publicly available data, eliciting angry comments from some readers:
New York City has had only 414 murders so far this year and is on pace for a record low, though officials disagree on whether the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy is behind the decline, the Daily News writes:


* In his "What You Should Know" column yesterday, the email blast authored by state Sen. Rubén Díaz, Sr., the Bronx senator ticked off his top ten wishes for the New Year, a list that jabs at everyone from the Senate Independent Democratic Conference to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. But Díaz directed his most inflammatory statement at Sen. Malcolm Smith, who recently defected from the Democratic conference to join the IDC, writing that he wishes, "For Senator Malcolm Smith, to find another minority to join him in order for him not to be the only Uncle Tom in the house." When asked about his comments, Díaz said that he is tired of people using black and Hispanic pain for their own benefit, and suggested that Smith is being exploited by the IDC and Senate Republicans simply to have a minority face in their leadership coalition. "I know the game, I know how they play. [The Senate leadership] need[s] to show that they care [about minority issues] and for that they get one or two [minorities]," Díaz said. "They give a little piece of bone to Malcolm, and they say 'we have the minority we love'." Smith did not respond to a request for comment.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fw: Notify NYC - Notification

Notification issued 12/26/12 at 4:00 PM. NYPD has issued a Missing Senior Notification for the disappearance of Lonnie Jackson, male, black, 78 years old, 6'2", 275 lbs., with gray hair and brown eyes, from Columbia St and Delancey St in Manhattan. Mr. Jackson was last seen yesterday, 12/25/12 near 7th Ave and West 78th St, Manhattan, wearing a brown hat, brown dress suit, brown shoes and in possession of a wooden cane. Please find a photo attached. If you see Mr. Jackson, please call 9-1-1.
The sender included the following attachment:
The sender provided the following contact information.
   Sender's Name: Notify NYC
   Sender's Email:
   Sender's Contact Phone: 212-639-9675




Seniors' Three Kings Celebration

Seniors' Three Kings Celebration

Date: January 4, 2013

Sponsored by CenterLight Healthcare, seniors can enjoy an afternoon of fun activities, health awareness, free blood pressure screening, music, refreshments & more!

Start time: 9:00 am

End time: 12:00 pm

Contact phone: (718) 520-5919

Location: Lost Battalion Hall Recreation Center

Seniors' Three Kings Celebration
Wed, 26 Dec 2012 05:00:02 GMT