Shares in almost every property industry company weakened yesterday as the London stock exchange took fright at Boris Johnson’s successful bid to suspend Parliament next month.Shares in Foxtons, Countrywide, Rightmove, Savills and Purplebricks all dropped yesterday, while shares in The Property Franchise Group, LSL and OnTheMarket saw recent share price rises grind to a halt.Only Belvoir saw an increase during frenzied share trading, rising by just under 1%.The UK’s leading house builders also saw their shares drop including Barratt, Bellway, Persimmon, Redrow and Taylor Wimpey, whose shares fell by up to nearly 4%.City investors are clearly worried that Johnson’s attempt to circumvent parliament and push through a hard Brexit is likely to damage the economy and in particular the fragile housing market.Suspend ParliamentYesterday Boris Johnson successfully requested permission to suspend Parliament during the run up to the October 31 Brexit deadline.The political gamble the move represents has been highlighted by a YouGov pole of 5,734 people following the announcement, which revealed that only 27% backed the suspension of Parliament to force through a Brexit deal.The figures are very different when the poll’s results are focussed in on Conservative and Leave voters, half of whom believe it is acceptable to shut down parliament.Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called the move an ‘attempted coup’ and a ‘threat to our democracy’ and, unusually, has been joined by some Conservative MPs in calls for a general election prior to October 31st.Savills and Purplebricks Rightmove Boris Johnson Brexit Countrywide Foxtons August 29, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » Property industry shares fall as Parliament is suspended previous nextHousing MarketProperty industry shares fall as Parliament is suspendedBoris Johnson’s decision to ask the Queen for permission to extend the summer recess sends shock waves through City investors.Nigel Lewis29th August 201901,197 Views
By Donald WittkowskiOne day, there may be a trip to the Cape May County Zoo. Another day, it could be an outing to one of Atlantic County’s parks. Other times, it could be a trip down to the grocery store or the bank.There are also parties, daily exercise sessions, movies, arts and crafts classes and games ranging from bingo to beanbag tossing.“Every day, it’s something different,” said Heather Piekarski, administrator at Golden Heart Adult Medical Day Care Inc. in Somers Point.All of the activities offered at Golden Heart may make it sound like the type of day care center filled with rambunctious children.But at Golden Heart, the emphasis is on the word “adult.” The day care center can serve a range of clients from ages 18 to 100. It offers an array of activities, medical services, social programs and door-to-door transportation for people in Atlantic and Cape May counties who have intellectual or physical disabilities.“It’s a nice alternative for those people who are not quite ready for assisted living or nursing home care, Piekarski said.The adult day care center is located at 101 Shore Road, at the intersection of Ocean Avenue, in Somers Point.While other adult day care centers may focus almost exclusively on elderly clients suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or those with developmental disabilities, Golden Heart serves adults with almost any physical, cognitive, or emotional condition, Piekarski explained.“We do a little bit of everything,” she said.Instead of separating clients into different age groups, Golden Heart has found that its multigenerational mix has great advantages for everyone.“The elderly often enjoy interacting with those who are the ages of their children or grandchildren. Younger members often bond warmly to a parent or grandparent figure,” Golden Heart says on its website.Piekarski also noted the cultural diversity of Golden Heart’s clients. Some of them come from Bangladesh, India and Egypt and now live in Atlantic and Cape May counties. There are translators on staff to help with different languages.Currently, Golden Heart has clients ranging from ages 27 to 94. The day care center can handle up to 64 adults on any given day and is usually close to that number, Piekarski said.An array of social activities, wellness programs and transportation services are offered to Golden Heart’s clients. (Photo courtesy Golden Heart website)One of the clients, Maryann Scott, said she would probably sit at home alone every day if not for the social interaction she has at Golden Heart.“I enjoy it. I look forward to coming every day. It’s fun,” said Scott, a 67-year-old Ocean City resident.Scott, a retired casino worker, pointed out that she enjoys the bingo games and shopping trips the most at Golden Heart.On Monday, there was a trip to the local ShopRite for groceries. Piekarski said outings also include trips to the zoo, the parks, the beaches and the boardwalks. One memorable trip was to Lucy the Elephant in Margate. Sometimes, animals are brought to the day care center to provide comfort and companionship to clients.Parties are another popular activity. A costume party was held for Halloween. Next month, Santa Claus will pay a visit. For Thanksgiving, there will be catered meals and turkey-themed games.“We have parties for any holiday you can think of,” Piekarski said.Meals are provided every day. After breakfast, exercise sessions are offered each morning to give everyone a daily dose of fitness.“We really do try to get them up and moving,” Piekarski said.Sometimes, dogs and other animals are brought to the day care center to provide comfort and companionship to clients. (Photo courtesy Golden Heart website)Three years ago, Golden Heart came under the ownership of Ajay Goswami and Sparshil Patel, Piekarski said.The day care center is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The first group of the day is brought in between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. A second group comes in between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.Golden Heart’s medical services include nurses who monitor the clients for such things as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, pulmonary disease, epilepsy and wounds. Comfort and support are offered for people with Alzheimer’s, developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and other conditions.Physical, speech and occupational therapy are offered at Golden Heart through Spectrum Rehab.Piekarski pointed out that Golden Heart’s location at the intersection of Shore Road and Ocean Avenue is just blocks from Shore Medical Center and the cluster of doctors’ offices near the hospital. Some clients are taken for their doctor visits during the day.On its website, Golden Heart notes that it provides close supervision of its clients to prevent inappropriate behavior, wandering or accidents. The day care center also keeps in close contact with its clients’ family members and doctors to stay on top of any changing conditions and needs.“This is a nice respite for the families. They know that for five or six hours a day, transportation included, they are in a safe environment,” Piekarski said.Clients can have their day care services at Golden Heart funded through Medicaid or the Horizon or Amerigroup healthcare plans. There are also private pay options. They include $85 per day without transportation services and $100 per day with transportation.Golden Heart Adult Medical Day Care Inc. is located at 101 Shore Road, Somers Point. For more information, visit http://goldenheartdaycare.com or call (609) 788-0067.Golden Heart serves adults from Atlantic and Cape May counties who have intellectual and physical disabilities. Golden Heart’s administrator Heather Piekarski, left, shares a laugh with client Maryann Scott, of Ocean City, while relaxing in some rocking chairs.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) unanimously approved Harvard’s 10-year development plan in Allston last night, giving the initial green light to seven new building projects and two major renovations.The approval of an institutional master plan (IMP) covers three new buildings and one renovation at Harvard Business School (HBS), a 200-room hotel and conference center on Western Avenue, a mixed-use institutional building on the site of the former Charlesview apartments, renovations to the Soldiers Field Park graduate student housing, a major renovation of and addition to Harvard Stadium, and a new home for Harvard basketball. While the approval establishes zoning guidelines for the projects contained in the IMP, each project will have to undergo further review.The approval is a key step in the realization of Harvard’s long-visualized future in Allston and comes after a year of intensive community engagement. In creating the document, the University drew upon previous planning efforts and input from neighbors and the Harvard Allston Task Force. The result is a proposal that is not just about bricks and mortar, but about furthering Harvard’s academic needs while integrating the University and community through educational programs, shared spaces, and pedestrian-friendly, environmentally sustainable public improvements.“Taken together and considered alongside the science building soon to be back under way on Western Avenue, and the residential and retail complex soon to break ground at Barry’s Corner, the program represents important progress toward the long-term vision of a more integrated, expansive, and lively presence for Harvard on both sides of the Charles,” said Harvard President Drew Faust.The plan contains 1.4 million square feet of new construction and 500,000 square feet of renovated space. When combined with previously approved projects, it will add significant vitality and enrichment to Barry’s Corner, enhancing the area for both Harvard and the Allston community.Earlier this year, the BRA approved — and ground will soon be broken on — the Barry’s Corner Residential and Retail Commons, to be developed by Samuels & Associates, Harvard’s real estate partner. Located at the crossroads of campus and community where Western Avenue and North Harvard Street meet, the commons project combines 325 units of market-rate rental housing with ground-level retail and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks.Later this year, site preparation will start on a science building at Western Avenue that will give the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences room to grow. Nearby, newly renovated space at 224 Western Ave. now houses the Harvard Ceramics Program and will be the future home of an expanded Harvard Education Portal, contributing to the activity in the area.The collective results of this 10-year plan will be transformative for both Harvard and the University’s neighbors. The transformation is not about buildings alone, but includes new roads to improve traffic flow; the creation of green spaces, including a new Rena Park south of Western Avenue; a pedestrian path through Harvard’s athletic fields to the Charles River; and the preservation and enhancement of a grove of trees at Barry’s Corner.“Harvard’s Allston development represents a shared opportunity for growth that will be transformative for the University, the Allston community, and the city of Boston,” said Executive Vice President Katie Lapp. “As Harvard builds for the future in Allston, we will continue to enhance the local community with new, vibrant, walkable places and spaces, strengthen Barry’s Corner as a crossroads for University and community interaction, and contribute to the social, economic, and environmental well-being of Boston.”The construction will be financed in a variety of ways. Development in Allston will be a major focus of the $6.5 billion Harvard Campaign, which kicked off in September. One project with financing ready is HBS’s Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center. The building, a 90,000-square-foot replacement for the Kresge Building, will serve the School’s executive education program and is financed with a $40 million gift from the Chao family.Neighbors and partnersThe Allston development also will enhance the University’s ties with the community through three main avenues. The first involves creating a permeable campus that removes existing impediments to pedestrian circulation and includes street-facing, community-activating uses. The second is a program of community benefits tied to the IMP process. The third involves creating a “transformative project,” which is part of the cooperation agreement for the science building.As part of the IMP process, Harvard during the summer proposed a $38 million community-benefits program. The program builds on presentations by various Allston Harvard Task Force subcommittees and draws from popular existing programs — due to expire in 2018 — established as part of the 2008 science cooperation agreement.Among the programs are the Education Portal at 175 North Harvard St., Harvard Allston Partnership Fund grants to community organizations and nonprofits, scholarships for Allston-Brighton children and adults, an array of educational partnerships with community schools, and workforce development programs. The “Ed Portal” has already grown far beyond the modest community education center that was originally envisioned in 2008. BRA Deputy Director Linda Kowalcky cited the portal last spring as an area where Harvard has gone “over and above” its obligations in the earlier agreement.Ed Portal membership is open to any neighborhood resident and has expanded from 455 in 2009 to nearly 2,000 this year.An additional $8.5 million is proposed for public enhancements, such as streetscape upgrades, improved signaling and road crossings, and park maintenance. This includes a “public realm flexible fund” that will provide the opportunity for public and other community priorities to be selected for partial or full funding through a yet-to-be-determined review process involving the Allston community, Harvard, and the city.Also included in this sum is an allocation for a transformative project at 224 Western Ave., a new community hub centered around the growing Ed Portal and the ceramics studio. The facility will offer education and workforce training, health and wellness, and arts and cultural programming for the neighborhood.A centerpiece of the transformative project will be a new educational effort growing from the edX online education program. That will bring Harvard classes to Allston residents through AllstonX, a program that combines edX’s online learning approach with in-person interaction with Harvard faculty, teaching assistants, and students.“AllstonX is … essentially aligning what we do in Allston and what we share with the community of Allston with the University’s priorities and with the larger possibilities in terms of education and broad access to educational materials,” said Ed Portal Director Robert Lue, director of life sciences education and professor of the practice of molecular and cellular biology. “It flows from the Ed Portal’s founding principles, but it’s a significant growth of what the Ed Portal does. It’s a transformation of the Ed Portal. It’s much bigger, it’s much broader, and in our view much more impactful across more segments of the Allston community than what we have done before.”Space for business, a renewed landmarkMost of the building projects in the IMP approved Thursday will be built on land already developed for academic purposes, including for HBS and the University’s athletic facilities.In addition to the Chao Center, HBS will replace Burden Hall with a 140,000-square-foot classroom and academic building, construct a 110,000-square-foot faculty and administrative building, and renovate the interior of 78,000-square-foot Baker Hall.The IMP includes plans for a hotel and conference center on Western Avenue near Soldiers Field Road, which would have 26,500 square feet of meeting space. In addition, it includes renovation of 423,000 square feet of graduate student housing at nearby Soldiers Field Park. The project will be the first significant renovation since the housing opened in 1974 and will include both cosmetic and system upgrades.Harvard Athletics has two major projects under the IMP. The first is a renovation of and addition to Harvard Stadium, which was built in 1903 and is a national historic landmark. The project will add an elevator, locker rooms, meeting and office space, an upgraded press box, and enclosed club seating, and will provide improved accessibility to visitors with disabilities.The IMP also includes a new basketball venue close to Barry’s Corner south of the Harvard track that will hold 1,000 more seats than the current 2,000 at the Lavietes Pavilion. Though basketball will be the best-known occupant of the building, most of the 270,000 to 340,000 square feet will be for multi-use purposes such as street-level retail, graduate student housing, and institutional office space.The last major development effort in the IMP is the Gateway Project, which will be built on part of the site formerly occupied by the Charlesview Apartments. The 300,000-square-foot project will contain academic and administrative space on its upper floors, but is designed for ground-level retail space as part of the broader goal to enliven Barry’s Corner with pedestrian traffic.“No institution of higher education has a more exciting opportunity for innovative growth in an intellectual and entrepreneurial environment as dynamic as we have in Boston and Cambridge,” Faust said in a September speech. “The future we face together calls for a campus that embodies and enables our ambitions for learning and discovery. In Cambridge, in Longwood, and in Allston, what we can be depends fundamentally on the spaces we create, renew, and inhabit.”
After days of frigid temperatures, the Northeast is bracing for a whopper of a storm that could dump well over a foot of snow in many areas and create blizzard-like conditions. The storm system has already blanketed parts of the Midwest, as well as Washington, D.C. Chicago got almost 7 inches of snow by Sunday morning, leading to the cancellation of a couple hundred flights at the city’s two airports. In Wisconsin, snow depths in some areas had reached more than 15 inches. Snow is expected to reach Pennsylvania by the afternoon. The National Weather says heavy snow is forecast to fall at an inch to 3 inches an hour on Monday in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Whether one was raised as a lifelong Notre Dame fan by alumni, discovered one of the tri-campus schools later in life or was recruited as an athlete, each person’s journey to college is unique. The college admissions scandal, which came to light in March, sparked a larger conversation about this process by highlighting inequalities in the system.Following this revelation, The Observer decided to take an in-depth look at college acceptances in the tri-campus community and spotlight students’ admissions stories. Over the course of about one month, our writers reported and wrote on this topic, interviewing admissions, athletics administrators and, of course, the students themselves. This Insider features members of the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross community who come from a variety of distinct experiences — including legacy, athlete, low-income, first-generation and undocumented backgrounds.In order to reach out to the latter three groups, The Observer created a form for students to share their stories. In a matter of six days, we received 11 responses from members of the tri-campus community. Of the respondents, 72.7% identified as low-income students, 81.8% identified as first-generation students and 36.4% identified as DACA recipients or undocumented students. From these responses, reporters selected a handful of students from each campus to interview.Through this Insider, we hope to further examine the college admissions process in the tri-campus community. If you want to join the conversation, feel free to submit a letter to the editor. If you have a related story idea, you can submit it on our website. We always want to hear your story.Tags: admissions scandal series, college admissions scandal
Your outdoor news bulletin for May 6, the day Roger Bannister ran the first four-minute mile, finally giving middle distance running the sexy edge it deserves:Two-Fly, All the Way to the BankWe’ve covered Project Healing Waters in the pages of our magazine and online before, but this story is definitely worthy of more coverage. The annual Project Healing Waters Two-Fly Tournament is one of the biggest fund-raisers of the year and is held annually at Rose River Farm in Madison County, Va. Rose River Farm is owned by Douglas Dear, who is also the chairman of the PHW board. The big news is that this year’s tournament drew a large crowd – including Washington Redskins nickel package specialist, safety and all around run stuffer Reed Doughty – and raised over $220,000 for the program. That’s a lot of hooch!Richmond Leaders Head WestThe civic leaders of Richmond, Va. headed west to Denver last week, hoping to pick up some tips on making their city more active. Denver is the capital of one of the fittest states in the union (Colorado) and has one of the nation’s healthiest workforces and the Greater Richmond Chamber wanted a piece of the action. But it is not just for the benefit of the individual, although that is nice, it’s for the benefit of the whole area. Richmond wants to use the growth of active lifestyle infrastructure – like bike share programs and bike/walk friendly city planning – as a way to spark economic development. Richmond is banking on the notion that young, outdoorsy, active folks will want to move to the River City because of the healthy, outdoor lifestyle vibe; not to mention the lower cost of healthcare due to an active populace. Richmond will host the ICU Road World Championships in 2015, and are ramping up their efforts in preparation for the media attention. They could do worse than using Denver as a model.DuPont Due For ImprovementsDuPont State Recreation Forest got some press in this magazine last year, and is now so crowded it is getting some major upgrades to its infrastructure. Coincidence? I think not, although that movie the Hunger Games may have also played a roll in the visitor explosion the park has received over the past couple of years. In May and June, DuPont will get a new parking lot and pedestrian bridge at the Hooker Falls Access, trail upgrades, new trails, and a visitor center, in addition to a master plan to be unveiled by the end of the year. The 10,500-acre park saw a record 358,000 visitors in 2012, up from 250,000 in 2011 so the improvements are certainly warranted.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Irene LeutjeNassau County police are asking for the public’s help in solving the mystery of a 60-year-old woman who had been missing for about a month before she was found dead about five miles from her North Massapequa home.Construction workers reportedly discovered the body in the bushes outside of a vacant, Sandy-damaged waterfront home on Ocean Avenue in Massapequa on Valentine’s Day. Police identified the woman Tuesday as Irene Luetje, a Farmingdale State College secretary known to friends and family as “Renee.”“Unfortunately at this point it’s a mystery to us why she was there, how she wound up there and ultimately how she died,” Det. Lt. John Azzata, head of the Homicide Squad, told reporters during a news conference Wednesday.Investigators said that they found no apparent trauma to the victim and there appears to be no signs of foul play, but medical examiners have yet to complete an autopsy. It wasn’t clear how long she was dead before being found.Newsday reports that Luetje’s family filed a missing person report for the woman after she neither showed up to grandniece’s birthday party Jan. 6 nor went to work the next day.What happened in the five weeks between her disappearance and discovery remains a mystery. The worker who made the find told WCBS radio that he heard rushing water and was looking for the water main when he spotted the body.Azzata said Luetje was known to take long walks, was taking medication for hypertension and doesn’t appear to have been robbed. He suggested that she could have been seeking assistance for a medical problem when she collapsed.“The campus is terribly saddened by her death,” said Kathy Coley, a college spokeswoman. “We send our deepest condolences to Irene’s family.”Homicide Squad detectives ask anyone with information regarding this person to contact them at 516-573-8800.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens were walking through their hometown of Brentwood on a Tuesday night last September after leaving Cuevas’ home when four alleged gang members riding in a car spotted them on Stahley Street.Inside were two 19-year-olds and a pair of juveniles who allegedly belonged to the notorious MS-13 gang and had been whipping around Brentwood searching for rival gang members who’d apparently wronged them. After recognizing Cuevas, who the gang had already marked for death because of a pre-existing feud that had recently escalated over social media and at school, they allegedly reported their discovery to two of the gang’s leaders, who gave the go-ahead to end their lives. Armed with a machete and baseball bats, they exited the car and brutally beat Mickens. Cuevas ran for her life, slipping into a nearby fenced-in backyard as her attackers pursued her on foot. She was trapped. Like her best friend, Cuevas was beaten unconscious and left to die. Mickens’ body was discovered first. The next day, police came across Cuevas’ body up against a fence. The spot on Stahley Street where Mickens was found was almost instantly turned into a makeshift memorial honoring the fallen teens, festooned with flowers and items representing the lives they lived. Someone left birthday balloons for Mickens, who was a day away from turning 16. “I’m supposed to have a Sweet 16 dance with my daughter,” Mickens’ distraught father Rob said as friends, families and strangers alike gathered to pay respects two days after her brutal murder. “They took that away.” Nearby, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini wrapped up a press conference at which he called the slayings an “act of savagery” and appealed to the community for help catching the assailants. The childhood best friends had been beaten to death, Sini said. But the extent of their injuries would not be revealed until later. Mickens’ cause of death was “significant sharp force trauma to the face and blunt force trauma to the head,” federal prosecutors said this week. Cuevas succumbed after sustaining “significant blunt force trauma to the head and body and lacerations.” “These are some of the worst wounds I’ve seen,” Sini said at the time. When they were done, the attackers hopped back inside their car and escaped into the night, fleeing to the Central Islip home of their alleged leaders to return the murder weapons, according to authorities. Charged in their alleged roles in the murders of Mickens and Cuevas were Selvin Chavez, Enrique Portillo, both 19 and from Brentwood, and two juveniles who were not identified.That the friends were killed together was especially heartbreaking given their close relationship. Last Christmas they each purchased individually engraved dog tags that read “Ride” and “Die”—an indicator of how tight their bond was. Law enforcement officials on Thursday announced a sweeping indictment charging 13 members of the notorious MS-13 gang with seven murders, including those of Cuevas and Mickens on Sept. 13, and Jose Pena-Hernandez on June 3. The superseding indictment absorbed a previous indictment from a year ago that charged several members with four other murders. The new 41-count indictment charges various members with a total of seven murders since 2013, attempted murders, racketeering, assaults, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, and firearms and conspiracy charges. The investigation into Cuevas and Mickens’ untimely deaths launched in September. Since then, more than 125 alleged MS-13 gang members have been arrested for various crimes as part of multi-agency crackdown on gang activity. In response to the murders, police flooded the streets, said they planned to introduce new license plate reading technology to track vehicles in Brentwood, Central Islip, and Bay Shore, and developed a list of known gang members. The investigation was a collaborative effort by the Long Island Gang Task Force, which encompasses federal, state and local agencies, including Nassau and Suffolk police. In a show of force, about a dozen members of the task force stood behind Robert Capers, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, during Thursday’s announcement, many appearing stone-faced. This was law enforcement fulfilling a promise they said they made to Brentwood residents and the surrounding community five months ago: that the tragic murder cases of two teens would not go cold.What hardened investigators said they uncovered in pursuit of justice was a particularly disturbing level of violence and brutality—a sadistic criminal underground justice system that made corpses of young people for their perceived infractions, however minor. “For far too long on Long Island MS-13 has been meting out its own version of the death penalty against members of their own gang who violate their so-called rules—against rival gang members…and anyone else who they decide they want to seek revenge against,” Capers said. In an effort to blunt MS-13’s growth at the beginning of the century, the FBI created the MS-13 National Gang Task force in 2004 that would be based out of its headquarters in Washington, D.C. In 2008, the FBI released an MS-13 threat assessment, which indicated that the gang’s ranks included upwards of 10,000 members in at least 42 states. “They perpetrate violence—from assaults to homicides, using firearms, machetes, or blunt objects—to intimidate rival gangs, law enforcement, and the general public,” the threat assessment read. “They often target middle and high school students for recruitment. And they form tenuous alliances…and sometimes vicious rivalries…with other criminal groups, depending on their needs at the time.” The group originated in Los Angeles but splintered into “cliques” as they migrated east, the FBI said. Although they fall under the MS-13 umbrella, two cliques were allegedly involved in last year’s murders: Freeport Locos Salvatruchas and the Sailors Locos Salvatruchas Westside, the latter of which was allegedly connected to the deaths of Cuevas and Mickens. In the case of Cuevas and Pena, their transgressions amounted to a death sentence. Mickens met the same fate despite having no bad blood with the gang, officials said. Federal authorities on Thursday declined to provide details about the feud between Ceuvas and the gang. But whatever it was, the gang wanted retribution. Authorities attributed Mickens’ death to a case of being “in the wrong place at the wrong time”—by her best friend’s side, like she had for years. “Mickens never had a chance,” Capers said at a press conference Thursday. Three months prior, Pena, an MS-13 member himself, was also killed. After leaving school, Pena was lured into a vehicle and was driven to the abandoned Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center, an apparent gang hangout. When he exited the car, Pena was confronted by people he once considered friends. They turned on him, taking turns stabbing and slashing his body with a machete. Like Cuevas, Pena’s fate was pre-determined. Prior to the encounter, gang members had convened a meeting in which the topic of discussion was Pena, who was accused of being a government informant and violating other gang rules, authorities said. His death warrant was sealed. Pena died on June 3. He was reported missing on June 13. His decomposed body wasn’t discovered until Oct. 17 in a wooded area outside the abandoned complex. The Cuevas and Mickens killings came seven months into Sini’s tenure as police commissioner. With the community on edge, the teens’ deaths marked Sini’s first test as a leader of a department whose culture he was trying to change after the arrest of ex-Chief of Department James Burke, who was sentenced to 46 months in prison for beating a heroin addict chained to the floor of a police precinct because he’d unknowingly stolen the police chief’s duffel bag containing his gun, ammo, porn and sex toys. Burke also ordered subordinates throughout the department to then cover it up. A 2012 Press investigation uncovered that SCPD detectives were unceremoniously pulled from the all-important and extremely successful joint Long Island Gang Task Force under Burke’s command. After assuming the position, Sini decided to bring the FBI closer into the Long Island Serial Killer investigation and gang probes. Meanwhile, a community already plagued by gang violence in recent years recoiled at yet another wave of violence. Stephanie Spezia, 52, a Brentwood resident and member of the community group, Uplift Brentwood, said last year’s slayings were different than others in the past. “I don’t think that people in the community actually felt the impact of the gang stuff because it was always somebody else,” she said, adding that the girls were “stolen off the streets.” Their deaths sparked unfounded rumors amid a palpable fear that the community was in the clutches of the gangs. Some parents didn’t want to send their kids to school, she said. Others grew concerned when they heard helicopters whirring overhead. “It was mass hysteria and it was fueled by social media and it was fueled by ignorance and it was fueled by fear,” Spezia said. Marcos Maldonado, 35, an Uplift Brentwood member, said Thursday’s indictment and the arrests of some of the alleged perpetrators brought “relief and happiness.” “Brentwood was always a melting pot. Brentwood always welcomed cultures of all kinds, people of all types in order to have a better community,” he said. “That was one of the things that was always celebrated about Brentwood.” He doesn’t want that mosaic to be a casualty of the violence. Spezia, who’s lived in Brentwood since 1974, said the neighborhood she remembered became unrecognizable. She wanted to make a difference. So nearly every day since the September murders, she’d carry around Crime Stoppers posters requesting anyone with knowledge of the incident to contact police. Hearing about how the murders were handed out rattled her. “Why would you do that to a child?” she said. “And it just goes to show how deliberate and just how angry these folks are…and I think it goes past angry. They have no empathy…to be able to do that to someone, to make this child unrecognizable, that’s just horrible.” At Brentwood High School in the days following the girls’ tragic deaths, school officials alerted parents that police would increase their presence around the school and new metal detectors would be used to ensure no weapons entered the building. “The next few weeks will be a difficult period for all of us,” Brentwood Union Free School District Superintendent Dr. Levi McIntyre wrote to parents. “Although individual response to this news may be different, please know that the District stands unified in its effort to provide a nurturing and safe environment for all our students.” Standing just feet away from where her daughter was struck down, Mickens’ mother, Elizabeth Alvarado, seemed to channel the grief of an entire community. “How many more lives do they need to take?” her voice cracked. “How much more blood do they really need to have on the street? I mean, my daughter’s blood is on the street, it’s stained right there.“When is it going to finish?” For Brentwood residents like Spezia and Maldonado, the road to change begins with the community. “The police can only do what they can do, they can only enforce,” Spezia said. It’s important for residents to realize “they do have a voice,” she added. “That they do have a responsibility as well to use their voice.” She and others use theirs to keep Cuevas’ and Mickens’ spirit alive. Related Stories:13 MS-13 Gang Members Charged In Brentwood Teens’ Murders & Other SlayingsPlea for Tips, Peace After 2 Brentwood Teens SlainIs SCPD Playing Politics By Leaving FBI’s LI Gang Task Force?
33SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Wendy Moody Wendy Moody is a Senior Editor with CUInsight.com. Wendy works with the editorial team to help edit the content including current news, press releases, jobs and events. She keeps … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details If you’re like me, one of your favorite things about the holiday season is enjoying Christmas films with family. I have many great memories in my life that involve these classics. And, no matter how our lives or the world changes, these movies stand the test of time. Here are a few favorites and the words of wisdom we can remember from each, many of which remind us of the true reason for the season.“It came without ribbons. It came without bows. It came without packages, boxes, or bags. Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas is a little bit more.” – Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas“If you won’t use your heart, who cares if it gets broken? If you just keep it to yourself, maybe it’ll be like my rollerblades. When you do decide to try it, it won’t be any good. You should take a chance. Got nothing to lose.” – Kevin McAllister in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” – Clarence the angel in It’s a Wonderful Life“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere.” – The Prime Minister of England in Love Actually “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.” – Fred Gailey in Miracle on 34th Street
The woman called foreign affairs minister Nanaia Mahuta’s traditional tattoo “ugly and uncivilised”.- Advertisement –