A moment of silence, please:
"Plan to allow prayer break at some NYC pre-K classes raises concerns" Associated Press March 16, 2015
NEW YORK — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious plan to expand public prekindergarten for all 4 year-olds depends in part on the participation of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim schools, under a proposal that would permit religious instruction and prayers during midday breaks.
But civil liberties groups are already objecting, saying allowing a prayer break in a publicly funded classroom may violate the constitutional separation of church and state.
“It’s kind of like waving a red flag in front of a bull,” said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “This seems to be asking for a lawsuit.”
De Blasio’s free, full-day pre-kindergarten plan began last year as his signature initiative.
Some pre-K classes are in public schools, but many are run by religious groups and other community-based organizations under contract to the city....
Related: NYC schools to observe Islam holy days
As long as they don't build a mosque near you-know-where.
"Juice limit set at NYC day-care centers" AP March 25, 2015
NEW YORK — Children under 2 will not be allowed juice at New York City-licensed day-care centers and all other children will be limited to 4 ounces of juice a day, under new rules adopted by the city’s Board of Health.
The rules, intended to combat childhood obesity, also reduce children’s ‘‘sedentary time’’ to less than 30 minutes a day, down from 60 minutes.
‘‘Obese children are more likely than normal-weight children to have risk factors for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many other disorders and conditions,’’ the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene noted in the resolution adopted March 10.
The department said 100 percent fruit juice can be healthy in moderation but ‘‘water and low-fat milk are the healthiest beverages for children over 2 years of age.’’
The rules on sedentary time do not include naps, reading time, or activities like puzzles and crafts.
The changes apply to about 2,300 day-care centers licensed by the city with a capacity to serve nearly 135,000 children.
As long as the juice is kosher.
What's next, push-ups?
"NYC Man Accused of Scamming Families of Abducted Children" Associated Press
A nonprofit director who said he could help desperate parents recover children illegally taken from the United States during custody disputes was arrested Tuesday on charges accusing him of being a con man.
A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan alleges Peter Senese defrauded families by charging them large fees on the false promise he could reunite them with their children.
Senese, 49, was arrested Tuesday morning in Brooklyn. He was to make his first court appearance later in the day. The name of his attorney wasn't immediately available.
The complaint identifies Senese as the founder of an organization called I CARE. Websites promoting I CARE claim that "there have been many, many children of international parental child abduction who have been reunited and returned home due directly to the great efforts, and financial, legal and investigative resources" of the foundation.
From November 2013 to February 2015, Senese told potential clients that he could recover their children from other countries using former soldiers he knew from his days as a member of the U.S. Army's Delta Force, the court papers say. In one instance, he convinced a family that in exchange for a few thousand dollars, he would recover a child from India within a few weeks, the papers say.
"In fact, he could do no such thing," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement....
So those are the cases he is working on now?
Nowhere to found on webGlobe.
"Woman in New York charged in child’s death" New York Times April 01, 2015
NEW YORK — A woman who locked herself inside a restaurant bathroom for 25 minutes before she was found holding her unconscious 1-year-old son foaming at the mouth was charged with murder, authorities said Tuesday.
Latisha Fisher, 35, told investigators who arrived at the 5 Boro Burger on Monday afternoon that ‘‘the devil made me do it,’’ police said. The boy was in cardiac arrest when he was taken to a hospital, where he died.
With the birth of her second son nearly two years ago, friends say, Fisher, a woman who had always lived as though she had nothing to lose, had begun life anew. No more marijuana and cocaine. No more of the violence that had landed her at Rikers Island and in the files of New York City’s child welfare agency.
How was the trip? I'll bet she was treated better than a teen.
She and Gavriel, her curly-haired baby, became fixtures in the nearby park. She was taking medication to treat her paranoid schizophrenia and had started community college classes.
Meet the devil.
But those who had known her longest saw cracks in her newfound stability.
The kid could end up in a worse situation:
"Report assails NYC’s shelters for homeless" by Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press March 13, 2015
NEW YORK — A family of six was living in a homeless-shelter apartment where a dead rat festered on the floor for days. Another family had no living-room furniture and had been without electricity for days.
At another family homeless shelter, a puddle of urine soiled the only working elevator. And at yet another, a stairway was so treacherously rusted that inspectors ordered guards to block access to it.
All those buildings were part of a system that costs the city Department of Homeless Services about $360 million a year, with the agency sometimes paying well above neighborhood market rates for apartments, the city Department of Investigation said in a report released Thursday. It found that decrepit, dangerous surroundings and lagging enforcement were rife in city-paid, largely privately run shelters that house nearly 12,000 homeless families with children.
‘‘At its worst, DHS is turning a blind eye to violations that threaten the lives of shelter residents,’’ the report said. Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters called the findings ‘‘bluntly Dickensian,’’ though he credited the homeless services agency with making some progress.
Officials say they have closed two problematic shelters, stopped housing children in two others, and shuttered an average of 39 apartments a month for repairs.
More than half the 600-plus building- and fire-code violations the report identified have been fixed, inspections are tougher and more frequent, and other steps are coming, Homeless Services Commissioner Gilbert Taylor said.
At least they are not being left outside like in Pennsylvania.
"Mother gets 20 years to life for fatal salt-poisoning of son" Associated Press April 09, 2015
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A woman convicted of fatally poisoning her 5-year-old son with salt in his feeding tube got a break on her murder sentence Wednesday because she suffers from a mental illness she has refused to acknowledge, the judge said.
Lacey Spears, 27, of Scottsville, Ky., force-fed high concentrations of sodium through the boy’s stomach tube because she craved the attention his illness brought to her.
I'm contributing to the problem, aren't I?
Acting state Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary said he believes she suffers from Munchausen by proxy.
Munchausen by proxy is a disorder in which caretakers purposely harm children and then enjoy the attention and sympathy they receive.
Related: Spears Used Salt to Kill Son
Time to put this post to rest.