Former Cuomo Aide Indicted for CPV Bribery

NEW YORK — Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. a court proceeding began that has many Orange County residents and some from Sullivan Co. protesting, as well as citizens across the state concerned.

A former aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Joseph Percoco, is finally seeing trial over a year after a subpoena calling for his indictment on the charges of accepting bribes for official favors.

Organizations such as Food and Water Watch – New York, Concerned Citizens for the Hudson Valley, and Protect Orange County organized to further call attention to these charges, the corruption of Albany and the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) plant transporting fracked gas into the Hudson Valley.

The bribes, from 2012 to 2014, as well as in 2015, recurringly came bank accounts set up by a shell company of Todd Howe, a lobbyist who first met Percoco and Cuomo while he was working Cuomo’s father, Mario Cuomo. Howe is now cooperating with prosecutors after having pleaded guilty to multiple felonies of a similar nature in September 2016.

Activists in the region are pointing to a particular instance when CPV paid over $287,000 to Percoco. Former CPV executive, Peter Galbraith Kelly Jr. was charged with arranging the payments. Now, Protect Orange County, wants to see the CPV fracked gas-fired plant removed from the Hudson Valley, and they aren’t alone.

The trial is expected to be ongoing for the next four to six weeks. Syracuse developers, COR Development executives Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, were also charged in the Percoco trial, as well as another, for their arrangement of nearly $35,000 in payments to help with economic development.

Susan Lerner, Common Cause Executive Director, believes that the evidence in the trial will “be eye-opening for the public” in terms of the “pay-to-play aspects” of government economic decision-making.

The trial is being held at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in Foley Square in New York City. Many have already gathered in protest. Footage from Protect Orange County’s Facebook Live feed is below.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fprotectorangecounty%2Fvideos%2F1991150664233338%2F&show_text=0&width=560

The Buffalo News reporter Tom Precious said Saturday that the “Percoco corruption trial is as much about Cuomo as it is the defendants.” In the article, Executive Director of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), Blair Horner, agrees with Lerner that prosecutors are “going to illustrate Albany’s pay-to-play culture, and it’s not going to be pretty for New Yorkers to see.”

Assemblyman Ray Walter, an Amherst Republican, takes it a step further.

“I think we’re going to see the inner workings of the Cuomo administration and how the economic development model he’s developed as governor leads to this type of corruption,” he said.

Tom Precious, The Buffalo News. Jan. 20, 2018

Chair of Protect Orange County, Pramilla Malick, has not yet responded to calls for comment. To be Updated as the trial continues.

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Stranger Things’ Hawkins, Amazon’s Newest Home?

C’mon, Jeff Bezos! Choose Hawkins, Indiana! We want daily Prime deals on Eggos and possessed Christmas lights.

via Netflix offers ‘Stranger Things’ town as Amazon HQ2 location – CNET — CNET News

TheBreez – Dec. 14, 2017

Quote of the Day

“FAKE NEWS, he should be fired.” – President Trump’s Twitter call-to-action for the termination of Washington Post photojournalist Dave Weigel. The crowd size may remain contested!

Net Neutrality: Where Freedom Lies

The Story

Leading up to this week, readers may have seen something somewhere about Net Neutrality. Well that FCC vote was today at 10:30 a.m. EST. This, is where we are now:

The deets once more…

The FCC, chaired by Republican Ajit Pai, will vote today on the repeal of Democrat-created regulations which prohibit Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) from practices such as blocking websites, slowing down connection speeds and charging extra for faster delivery of content. Opponents of net neutrality, ISP lobbyists, have their fingers crossed about the vote,  in the name of their bottom lines.  Internet users, young people especially, have their fingers crossed in the opposite direction on this one.

Portugal’s internet without neutrality…

If you saw that Image on Facebook of Portugal’s internet… this one… meo

It may be “fake news,” but that could be the reality without net neutrality. As the EU may have  net neutrality, MEO, Portugal’s provider, does offer data packages as shown. This might be the direction the US ISP’s go if it proves to be profitable for companies like Comcast.

The polls are closed…

The clock struck midnight at 10:30 this morning for Net Neutrality. With a 3-to-2 vote successfully repealing the regulations, we can now expect some vast changes to internet service in the next year. This year’s Republican tagline reads: slash and burn.

theBreez

Whether in fact the FCC in this vote, is “helping consumers and promoting competition” has yet to be seen, but one thing looks clear: corporations and Republicans will both seize the day on this one. Even if not in full force after Alabama voted.

Caught in TheBreez

And in local news…

Orange County legislator Thomas Faggione criticized Mayor Kelly Decker over Port Jervis tax hikes. A point of contention that was mentioned was the 0.40 percent of that increase which solely goes to doubling the mayor’s salary to $40,000. Former city mayor, Gary Lopriore also criticized Decker about the proposal back in November.

We can work from home…

A new study reveals that working from home is more beneficial to most employees. Not only are people happier working from home, but more efficient in doing so! One catch however… the escape from home and isolation, is a desirable trait in a workspace.

More than hot dogs and poop emojis…

Snapchat is breaking open the world of augmented reality (AR). Dancing pigeons move over, because with Snap’s  launch of Lens Studio, anyone with a desktop or laptop computer can make their own AR dancing character. The holiday gift that just keeps on giving.