After launching the woman’s advocacy group in October of last year, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has moved forward with her plans for the Young Women’s Initiative. At a press conference at the City Hall steps last Monday, with a group of female activists behind her, she called for more female participation in local government.

“We need to challenge anyone that has a role to play in supporting candidates to make sure that we are creating pathways of opportunity for young women in government,” Mark-Viverito said.

The Young Woman’s Initiative is a progressive step for equity for the women in New York, particularly women of color and those from minority neighborhoods. Mark-Viverito is the first Latina woman to hold a citywide elected position in city council.

The women’s advocacy group was modeled after President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper program, launched in 2014, whose goal is to improve the lives of the country’s young black males. The goals remain similar.

As Mark-Viverito described the group’s policy plans, which includes development for women in areas of health and career, she was applauded by the women behind her who held up signs of #SheWillBe and the Spanish translation #EllaSera.

The City Council and other philanthropic groups have agreed to donate $20 million to The Young Women’s Initiative.

“You are mentors, supporters and fighters,” she said. “You are the future of our city. You are in the business of opening doors and shattering glass ceilings and you’re making a real difference in the lives of women and girls across our city.”

The U.S. Goes Crazy for Coconuts

An article titled, “CARIBBEAT: Mainstream coconut craze old news to Caribbean New Yorkers”, who have known about its benefits for ages was published on nydailynews.com on last month. The article discusses that Caribbean people, specifically in New York City, have long used coconuts as a health benefit for generations. Mainstream America, on the other hand, has recently become obsessed with this fruit and its benefits. As such, the demand for coconuts is growing rapidly as the writer, Jared McCallister, said. He reported that the Wall Street Journal, in an article titled “Coconuts Go Upscale, Boosting Price of Conventional Coconut Oil,” mentioned that “the yearning for coconut products — such as coconut water, dish detergent, teeth whiteners and even medicine — has driven up the price of coconut oil substantially, more than 20% higher in March and more than 50% high than last year’s prices.”

As a result, some Caribbean islands have been working towards becoming suppliers for coconuts to revitalize their coconut industries since the Philippines is the biggest producer of coconut oil.

Ironically, one can walk into any Beauty Supply store, grocery store or pharmacy in Caribbean communities around New York for these items. Many of the brands that one will encounter are either Island-based companies or companies stationed within big cities with Caribbean enclaves like Toronto or the Bronx. Although coconuts and coconut-based products are rising in popularity in America, it may just be a phase. Whether or not it is a phase, I hope that industries abroad are not exploited and left for dead in the process because for some, that is all they have left.

Bill Clinton’s Visit to Lefferts Garden Brooklyn

Last month, Bill Clinton visited St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in Lefferts Garden Brooklyn to speak on how, he says, Hillary Clinton helped the Caribbean community. In an article titled “Bill Clinton Touts Hillary’s History With Brooklyn’s Caribbean Community,” Rachel Holliday Smith of DNA.info discusses the church’s significance within the West Indian community in Brooklyn. Global pop-star and native of Barbados, Rihanna, even held the memorial service for her grandmother there, Holliday mentioned. As such, it makes perfect sense that Clinton decided to use that space as a platform for his message along his wife’s campaign trail.

For the most part, his speech was rather vague in that he discussed some of the things that, he said, Hillary has done for the immigrant community including improving voting access for “foreign-language voters” and working to “improve health benefits for pregnant immigrant women and their children.” I say that this speech was vague because although Caribbean people, both first and second generation, are affected by immigrant laws it doesn’t say much about what was done to assist with the Caribbean community specifically.

According to the article, Clinton said his wife intends to “liberate [the Caribbean and Americas] from imported oil forever and guarantee them their economic … future” among other things, which is quite a big job to take on as U.S. President. However, time and the American votes will tell.

Ex-Queens Mailman Faces Up to Six Months Imprisonment for Throwing Mail in Trash

article-postal-1229In the famous rainy encounter from the renown romance film “The Notebook,” Ali learns she had not received any of the 365 letters her former lover wrote her that year.

The residents of several Queens neighborhoods were faced with the same fate after an ex-postal worker, who “panicked” from being “overwhelmed” by the volume of letters he was expected to disperse on Dec. 2, 2015, stuffed their mail – about 1,000 letters – into garbage bags he purchased at Stop and Shop supermarket and trashed them in a South Ozone Park garbage can.

“I lost track of time and wasn’t able to complete my task and realized my job was at stake,” Daniel Darby said. “I panicked.”

The 26-year-old former mailman was terminated immediately after his arrest for the misdemeanor charge of knowingly and willfully delaying the delivery of mail, Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Edelman told Magistrate Judge Steven Gold at Brooklyn Federal Court Tuesday.

“On that day I had to do a job on a route that I was unfamiliar with,” Darby told the judge.

Darby is set for sentencing on June 8 and faces up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

STIs are the new STDs


You don’t want this to be you, so be smart about your sex life!

There is nothing different about STIs in comparison to STDs. STIs, commonly know as, sexually transmitted infections, are infecting people all over the world and the two main STIs that are popular for showing little to no symptoms are Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.

Being that Chlamydia and Gonorrhea don’t really show symptoms, these STIs can sometimes go untreated and ultimately lead to worse diseases such as, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and chronic pelvic pain. Sometimes, women who suffer from these infections are at higher risks for abnormal pregnancies as well. If these diseases are taken lightly, they can result in permanent and lifelong damage to the body.

Whenever a person who is infected, with said disease, gets a screening test, if the test comes out positive for the STI then that person as well as his/her partner has to get treated for it as well. After the medicine has been given and taken, it is best for sexual activity to be on hold for atleast seven days.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Sick Passengers and Train Delays

We all know how the trains are on a Monday morning.

Regardless of where you’re going, there always seems to a sea of people waiting on the tracks for the next already-filled train. As if that wasn’t bad enough, we all know the pain we feel when we hear that there is a sick passenger and there were are, left to stand and wait, leaning on the next person.

Monday saw the MTA hit big when it comes to sick passengers and train delays, with the A, L and 2 trains across the city being affected by sick passengers. “Monday morning blues were evident throughout the subway system yesterday as reports of sick customers snarled train service on five lines, delaying a total of 34 trains and thousands of harried customers,” said MTA NYC Transit in a Facebook post.

Below is a short video, used by the MTA, explaining how a delay involving a sick passenger results in commuting disasters for New Yorkers.


Paper books vs. e-books

My beat is publishing and I’m currently writing an article on paper books vs. e-books.

Reading a paper book and reading an e-book has it’s ups and downs, according to an article on the CBS News website. The article explains the pros and cons of both e-books and paper books.

However, there have been some health hazards to e-books, according to Medical Daily. Looking at a screen for too long can cause depression, stress and fatigue. It also has a very big affect on sleep when you read an e-book before you go to bed.

I recently interviewed someone that just finished writing his own poetry book. He plans to work with Dorrance publishing company, located in Pittsburgh, P.A. He has a love for paper books, however, he thinks that publishing his book as an e-book also will benefit him since so many people like to read stories from their phones.