Our thanks to Executive. Secretary. Ron DiMaio for taking the minutes of this month's meeting. Recording Secretary Bob Valentino was very busy serving dinners to the members and award winners and their families.
7:08 PM President Ed Russo called the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Tony Lomanto read a list of those who have passed away since our last meeting, among them former past first-Vice President Ret. P.O. Ron Forte, Ret. Sgt. Joe Frasca, and many others.
Regular meeting was temporarily suspended for the Sports Hall of Fame awards.
Bob Valentino, assisted by Bobby Ganley, inducted three new members into the Sports Hall of Fame: Thomas Barrett, Soft Ball (posthumously). His daughter, Denise, accepted her father’s award; William Vitelli, Bowling. Bill was present and accepted his award. Tony Cestare, Bowling, but was unable to attend. His award was accepted by George Mitchell.
Present Hall of Fame Members in attendance: Sam Sapienza, Rich Solieri, Mike Lanning, Bob Kent, Bob Rittmeyer, Stan Baily, Bob Valentino, Joe Carney, and Howie Haag. Some of the new inductee family members were also present.
Bob Ganley spoke about the late P. O. Billy Martin who was assaulted while on duty in 1981 and ultimately died as a result of his injuries. Bob is attempting to have Billy carried has Line of Duty death. He said that it will likely happen. We thank him for his efforts.
50 50 drawing was held with five $40.00 prizes and other prizes provided by John Reeves.
Mary Fitzgerald spoke about the Mets-Yankee game on Wed. August 15. Tickets sell for $110.00 each. Citi Field section 106. Call Mary at 914 263-1813 if interested.
Tony Lomanto stated that the Association received a thank you letter from Richard Di Guglielmo for the support the Association has given him in an effort to change the ruling so that he may be released from prison. We know that he was unjustly convicted.
8:45 PM meeting was adjourned.
Respectfully submitted, Executive Secretary Vincent R. Di Maio
May 14, 2017 REPORT OF MAY MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS
MINUTES of the RETIREE’S MEETING on MAY 3rd
President Ed Russo called the meeting to order at 8:00pm with the Pledge of Allegiance. Ed asked for a moment of silence for our departed members. Ed mentioned our new associate member Debbie Bonahan.
Executive Secretary Ron DiMaio spoke about the State Constitutional Convention Vote in November. He highly recommended that all members, family & friends vote no as it could be detrimental to our and other civil servants pensions and benefits.
2nd Vice President Harry Hassler spoke about the request to obtain a line of duty death for departed member Bill Martin. He asked if our association and others would write letters to the Police Commissioner for consideration. He also said that he will continue sending trivia questions to Lou Hollender.
Recording Secretary Bob Valentino mentioned that at the June 7th meeting there will be several members who will be inducted into the Association’s Sports Hall of Fame. It will be catered by Verdis.
Ed Russo welcomed Ret. Sgt. Bob Ganley as a new member of the association. Ed presented a token of our appreciation to Bob for his assistance through the years. Bob spoke about how important it is to vote no regarding the upcoming Constitutional Convention. Bob also spoke about the slim chance to get line of duty death for Bill Martin and mentioned the reasons why.
Mary Fitzgerald spoke about the Mets/Yankee game on Wednesday August 16. She gave her phone number (914) 263-1813 and said checks would be fine.
Ret. P.O. Jack Ferone spoke about the recognition he received for driving Veterans to the VA Hospital to Northport. Another one of our members Herbert Brown received the same award.
Vinnie Servedio distributed flyers for the Romeo Luncheon on Thursday May 11th.
Tony Piazza spoke about a new bill regarding the VSF excluding the Housing Police and a supplement to try to bypass the home rule.
The raffle was conducted by Ed & Vice President Mike Lanning. There were four $40.00 winners with additional prizes supplied by a very generous John Reeves.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 P.M.
Submitted by Recording Secretary Bob Valentino
President Russo informed me later on that NYPD Commissiner James O'Neil appeared at the meeting. The PC had been at another affair in Antuns at the time and stopped by at our meeting. He spoke highly of his time in, and how well it was, in Transit.
Though I was away in Florida on vacation with my fiance, Emily, I did have a "special" meeting with our dear friend and Transit Family member, Lou Hollander and his lovely wife, Barbara. It may have been a small meeting, but it was well enjoyed by all present. Old times were discussed along with what the future may hold for us all. Barbara and Lou were gracious hosts to Emily and myself and we thank them.
April 22, 2017 METS BASEBALL TICKETS AVAILABLE
Our Mets ticket coordinator, Mary Fitzgerald, will again be handling this year’s Mets/Yankee game at Citi-Field on Wednesday August 16. Last year’s game proved to be very successful.
Mary will be handling the ticket sales solely by herself just like last year. All negotiations will be strictly between you and her. All information will be given to you by her. The association will not have any information, you MUST contact her directly and as soon as possible. The ticket price will be $110.00 at this time but Mary further states that they will be going up just like last year. The price includes our group having a photo taken before the game on the field, also admission to a select restaurant not open to other ticket holders. Again, Mary states that you must contact her as soon as possible with payment in advance!
Please inform all those that you may come in contact with who may be interested in the above.
Mary Fitzgerald Cell 914 263 1813
Fraternally, Ed Russo
March 3, 2017 REPORT OF MARCH MEMBERSHIP MEETING
MINUTES of the RETIREE’S MEETING on 03/01/2017
President Ed Russo called the meeting to order at 7:45 PM with the Pledge of Allegiance. Ed called upon Treasurer Tony Lomanto who named the members who recently passed away since our last meeting. There was a total of 14 retirees that we lost. Tony also said that our finances are in good shape with about 165 members yet to pay their dues. He thanked the membership for so many generous donations to the association.
Executive Secretary Ron DiMaio mentioned that some states do not recognize HR 218 and that members should check each state that they are traveling in. A short discussion about Gun free zones was also discussed.
Recording Secretary Bob Valentino mentioned to expect a cutback in the number of PBA cards issued next year because sworn members are complaining about too many cards being out there.
Member Jacques Maurice spoke about the VSF and members with a disability. He asked that letters be written to state politicians.
Tony Piazza reminded everyone to vote “NO” for a State Constitutional Convention as it could be very bad for retirees. He also spoke about the VSF and mentioned that members with a disability lost in court. He said that a new bill regarding the defined benefit will be introduced this year as the old bill expired.
Both Ed Russo & Tony Lomanto spoke about the NYPD SBA honoring Jeanine Pirro. An official letter was sent to the SBA urging President Ed Mullins to reconsider giving her the award. Member Charlie Moran went into great detail describing why she was not deserving of a heroism award. He talked about Officer Richard DiGuglielmo, who in 1996 went to the aid of his father who was being hit with a baseball bat by an irate person. Officer DiGuglielmo was wrongly convicted and was given a long prison sentence. It is apparent that District Attorney Jeanine Pirro succumbed to pressure from outside groups and labeled the incident a bias crime. Officer DiGuglielmo is still in prison to this day. Charlie also mentioned that many police organizations have sent correspondence to Ed Mullins asking him to reconsider the award.
Associate member Willie Perez was introduced to the membership. He spoke about the great job that the Transit Police did and that he felt very bad about the failure of many members not receiving the defined benefit. He offered his assistance to try to get the new VSF bill passed.
Member Hank Melchiona thanked everyone for their support regarding his brother Michael and asked everyone to remember and keep in their prayers the families of officer Calabrese and officer Smith who were killed 10 years later in the same month as his brother Michael.
Member Vinnie Servedio asked the association to consider having a Dinner Dance like we used to have in the past. President Russo said that it would be discussed at the next board meeting in May.
President Russo mentioned the date for the Met game this year is Wednesday, August 16th. He also reminded the membership that the next meeting on May 3rd will be held at Antuns and not at the FOP.
The raffle was conducted by Ed & Tony. There were three $40.00 winners with additional prizes supplied by a very generous John Reeves.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 P.M.
Submitted by Recording Secretary Bob Valentino
Due to a special event at Antuns, and requested by Joe King, the meeting scheduled for October 4th at Antuns required a change of date to Thursday, October 5th . Please mark your calendars accordingly.
March 1, 2017 LETTER SENT TO NYPD SBA PRESIDENT
The association had been contacted numerous times these past 2 weeks regarding the NYPD SBA's plans on honoring Judge Jeanine Pirro with a "Heroism Award" at an upcoming dinner in March. Needless to say, the arguments against such an award struck deeply in the hearts and minds of our fellow officers when Pirro was the Westchester County District Attorney in 1996 and she unjustly prosecuted Police Officer Richard DiGuglielmo who was assigned to Transit District 11 of the NYPD, resulting in a lengthy prison sentence. Though Richard was acquitted on appeal, the County, furthering the case in a higher court, re-instated the conviction and sentence.
President Ed Russo, in response, sent a letter to SBA President Ed Mullins showing our disapproval of such an award. The letter can be seen HERE
January 31, 2017 DUES UPDATE
We have been receiving a good response to the recent dues mailing with many envelopes arriving at the post office daily. We also have been getting a large number of donations coming in with the dues and from our Lifetime and Honorary members. As we have done in the past, anyone sending in a donation of $20 or more will receive a challenge coin as a show of our appreciation, though some members have actually asked that no coin be sent as they already have enough on hand. If you intend to make a donation to the association and do not want a coin sent, please let us know and thank you for your generosity.
With that, we have run out of the supply of coins and decals and have placed an order for more to be made. I am making a list of those who will be sent a coin and decal as soon as the next order is received.
January 18, 2017 2017 DUES NOTICES MAILED OUT
The membership cards and decals for 2017 PAID members were mailed out today along with the dues notices for the non-paid members. We ask that you please send in the dues as soon as you receive the dues request envelope. If you have sent in your dues and receive the letter, please accept our thanks and disregard the notice.
Any member who has turned 75 in 2016 and has paid the dues for the 3 years prior to reaching 75 will be a Lifetime Member.
Any member who will be 75 in the first 4 months of 2017, and is paid up to date, will also be a Lifetime Member.
Any member who will be 75 in the latter part of 2017 should send in the dues for 2017 to be a Lifetime Member.
January 3, 2017 LATEST ISSUE OF NEWSLETTER SENT OUT
We are happy to report that the latest issue of our newsletter, "Beyond the Line,"has been published and sent to those paid members of record for 2016. Our editor, Frank Crisa, (with assistance from Tony Lomanto's editing) did another marvelous job of putting the issue together with all the letters and photos sent in by our members. Frank feels that this issue was the best, but he says that all the time and...it's true!!! Any paid member who does not receive a copy in another week or two should contact any board member or email me at email@example.com and I will mail you a copy.
A problem came up after the issue was mailed out concerning the May 3rd meeting. It was originally scheduled to be held at the NYS FOP building but because of last minute preparations for the annual NYS FOP Police Memorial Ceremony to set up the place on May 6th, we had to change the meeting to Antuns of Queens Village. All police retirees are urged to attend this ceremony to show support for the surviving families of those officers who made the supreme sacrifice. It starts at 11:00 AM.
December 9, 2016 ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAY PARTY
The annual Christmas and Holiday party held at Antun's this past Wednesday was another successful event attended by many members and friends who enjoyed the food and festivities of the evening.
The highlight of the event was the presence of one of our own, former Transit Police Officer and now NYPDCommissioner, James P. O'Neill. The commissioner spoke of his tenure in the Transit Police Department and how much it taught him about police work. Our President, Ed Russo, presented the commissioner with a plaque.
Another event of the night was the presence of several members of the Classes of 1966, this year being the 50th anniversary of those classes.
November 10, 2016 REPORT ON NOVEMBER MEMBERSHIP MEETING
From Recording Sect'y Bob Valentino
MINUTES of the RETIREE’S MEETING on 11/02/2016
President Ed Russo called the meeting to order at 7:40pm with the Pledge of Allegiance. Ed called upon Treasurer Tony Lomanto who named the members who recently passed away. Tony also said that our finances are in good shape.
Special guest Eileen Daly-Sapraicone spoke about her experience and expertise in her bid to win the position of Nassau County Family Court Judge. She asked for our support and to vote Row 5.
1st Vice President Mike Lanning spoke about the Health Plan Changeover Open Enrollment which is now in effect and ends November 30th.
Executive Secretary Ron DiMaio spoke about a nice story in Newsday regarding District 30 and the Transit Bureau commanded by Chief Joe Fox. The article mentioned that there are 2591 members assigned to the Transit Bureau.
Recording Secretary Bob Valentino mentioned the hole in one by member Tony Norcia.
Ed Russo reminded everyone about our Christmas/Holiday Party that will be held at Antuns on Wednesday December 7, 2016 starting at 6:00p.m.Cost for members is $20.00 and non-members $25.00. Ed also mentioned that we will be honoring NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.
Vinnie Servedio spoke about the Romeo and Juliet Luncheon to be held on Thursday, November 3, 2016. Vinnie also acknowledged the hard workers who keep the Transit Police Family together. He mentioned Frank Crisa, Lou Hollander, Paul Murphy, Marilyn Scahill, Tom Strong, John Reeves and Bob Valentino.
Mary Fitzgerald received a beautiful plaque from the New York Mets. She spoke briefly and played a recording that mentioned her at Citi Field.
Tony Piazza mentioned that our bill to get the defined benefit will be reintroduced in January 2017.
Deo Fasolino mentioned that there was some good news regarding member John Tully. After John was told that his Cancer was very bad, Deo was happy to say that John is 94% cancer free.
The raffle was conducted by Mike Lanning. There were three $40.00 winners with additional prizes supplied by a very generous John Reeves. Special prize of a replica of the Yankee Championship Ring was raffled off and won by Mike Lanning.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 P.M.
Submitted by Recording Secretary Bob Valentino
October 10, 2016 REPORT ON OCTOBER MEMBERSHIP MEETING
Our thanks to Executive Secretary Ron DiMaio (Recording Sect'y Bob Valentino and his wife, Jessica, were celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to the happy couple )
MINUTES OF MEETING OF 10/5/16 AT ANTUN’S
7:50 PMPres. Ed Russo called the meeting to order and led the pledge of allegiance.
- Executive Board Report: 2nd VP Harry Hassler congratulated his son, John, who was celebrating his 51st birthday.
-Tresasurer Tony Lomanto gave report of decease?>ml:namespace prefix = "st1" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />d and sick members. Financial Report was given showing funds in the accounts. He requested that pictures and articles be submitted for the next issue of Beyond The Line.
-Ed Russo mentioned that John Reeves is selling decals, patches and pins in the back of the room.
-Bobby Lentol spoke about the Spirit Award from the Mets that was awarded to the Association.
-Ed Russo reported that NYPD Commissioner James O’Neil will be our honored guest at the Holiday/Christmas Party to be held at Antun’s on December 7, 2016 at 6:00 PM.
-Our next meeting will be November 2, 2016 at the FOP Bldg.
-Paul Murphy spoke about the TPD Holiday Party New York Reunion to be held on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at Antun’s, 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM, $58.00 per person in advance or $70.00 cash at the door.
-Tony Norcia reported that the wife of retired Det. Mike Sapraicone, Eileen, is running for Family Court Judge in Nassau County.She has the support of many police organization.He requests our support for her election.
-John Rini, a member of the Legislator Committee, spoke about the Constitutional Convention that will be on the ballot in November of 2017. He recommends voting against it, because this may affect our pensions and health benefits.Our VSF bill expires at the end of this year.Senator Lanza will introduce a new bill next year.
-Ed Russo said that the Association will be represented at the TPD Holiday Party NY Reunion.
- The 50/50 drawing was held and six $40.00 prizes were awarded, as well as seven prizes which were donated by John Reeves.
Chcek out the information on the Health & Welfare page for those wishing to change their health benefits plan.
8:18 PM the Meeting was adjourned.
Vincent R. Di Maio, Executive Secretary
September 18, 2016 REPORT ON SEPTEMBER MEMBERSHIP MEETING
From Executive Secretary Ron DiMaio (Recording Sect'y Bob Valentino had to leave early)
MINUTES OF MEETING OF 9/7/16
NYS FOP BUILDING
7:55 PMPres. Ed Russo called the meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
-Tresasurer Tony Lomanto mentioned members who passed away and are sick since our last meeting.
-Recording Sec. Bob Valentino welcomed Stan Reitter and Bill Tricarico to the meeting, both who are recovering from serious health problems.
-Ed Russo mentioned that he congratulated the new Police Commissioner James O'Neil and reminded us that he started out as a Transit Cop. The new P.C. was invited to our meetings and Christmas/Holiday Party. He also mentioned that the plaque on display was given to the Association by the METS and is called the Spirit Award.
-Chet Levy reported that he is working on a plan for obtaining TPD ID cards for local retirees without going down to Livingston Street, B'klyn.For out of town retirees there is procedure in place, whereby they can obtain ID cards without making the trip.Contact P.O. George Bazile on our website under Keeping In Touch.
-Tony Lomanto gave a financial report on the Association.He also solicited articles for Beyond The Line.
-Mike Banahan, Ret. C.O., spoke about the football player named Colin Kapernak who sits during the playing the National Anthem, which is disrespectful.
-Tony Piazza, Legislative Chairman, spoke about the Variable Supplement. Our bill is still active till the end of the year. The Senate states that a Home Rule is required, however, it's not.NYS Constitutional Convention will be held next year.We have to keep an eye out for any problems that may arise.
-Dr. Jerry Ente, our Association Police Surgeon, spoke about red wine and grape juice containing the antioxidant reservertrol, and is very healthy to drink. If you have any symptoms of dimentia or Alzheimers disease, see your doctor at the first sign, as there are medications that can help. There has been a three fold occurrance of cancers in people who worked at the Pile at 9/11/01. Zika virus symptoms:Pink eye, pinkish red rash on the body, and the usual viral symptoms.No Zika carrying mosquitoes have been found in NYS. Donated blood is now checked for Zika virus.
-Deo Fasolino spoke about cell phones.AT&T offers a 19% discount for active and retired police.
-Chet Levy said that Walmart has a cell plan called Straight Talk that cost $45.00 per month and allows you to use SIM cards from different carriers. He also said that Cosco offers a big discount on Eloquis with a card from their pharmacy.
-The 50/50 drawing was held.
- 9:00 PM meeting was adjourned.
Vincent R. Di Maio, Executive Secretary
September 18, 2016 RETIREES ASSOCIATION RECEIVES AWARD FROM THE NY METS
President Ed Russo received the following video from the Mets Organization which honored our assocation at the Yankees-Mets game on August 1st. It was sent to our associate member, Mary Fitzgerald, by Barry Gorman of the Mets Organization
Video of the Home Plate Ceremony is listed below. The link will be live for 48 hours to view and save before it’s no longer available.
I am receiving so many wonderful calls text and emails to see how I'm making out.
Please let everyone know. I am doing well and my home as well as the homes of my sons are high and dry.
We are helping others. My son Brian a Deputy Sheriff has been working 14 hour days since Thursday effecting rescues and road blocks.
I have been assisting the EOC Emergency Op Command with getting additional police officers from non affected areas to relieve the officers here in Baton Rouge.
The department lost over 60 vehicles due to the procedure of taking vehicles home daily.
I assist and coordinate Police Department personnel operations with the Governor; Sheriff's State Police Superintendent and other departments of Safety.
I'm not in harm’s way. I'm so far healthy and energetic. Many told me they saw me on National TV last month.
What a tragedy. I felt I was reliving the 70's (Foster/Laurie et al).
I pray for peace and understanding as we (law enforcement of Baton Rouge ) prepare for the DOJ findings on the Alton Sterling shooting. The question remains what training must we offer officers to make them more acceptable to the masses and how do we train the masses to learn to COMPLY with the directives of the responding law enforcement. If they do as directed there is no escalation of the situation.
Thank you all for your love and concern.
Happy to hear the good news, Fabian. Hang in there !
August 21, 2016 LATEST REPORT FROM OUR SURGEON DR. GERALD ENTE
Check out the latest report on the Zika virus from our Honorary Police Surgeon, Gerald Ente MD on the Health & Welfare page
August 7, 2016 CONGRATULATIONS TO JAMES O'NEIL NEW POLICE COMMISSIONER OF NYC POLICE DEPARTMENT
By now, everyone should be aware of the upcoming retirement of our former Cheif of the Transit Police Department and current Commissioner of the NYC Police Department, Willam Bratton. We wish him success in his future endeavors.
We also wish to extend our heartiest congratulations and best wishes to the new designated NYC Police Department Commissioner James O'Neil who, if you are not aware, started his police career in 1983 as a new NYC Transit Police Officer.
July 28, 2016 IMPORTANT VSF LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
THE LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE
Fellow retirees, the legislative committee this year has met with more New York State representatives than ever before. Our Variable Supplements legislation has been detailed to each of them in so far as that we’ve stressed the facts in black and white drawing a consensus that an injustice exists. However, our bill has been stopped by The NYS legislative council requesting Home Rule from the NYC Counsel. The NYS Legislative is now in summer recess and will again convene in the fall.
June 7, 2016 REPORT OF JUNE MEMBERSHIP MEETING
This report is from Executive Secretary Ron Di Maio due to excusal of Recording Secretary Bob Valentino
meeting was called to order by President Ed Russo.Ed led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Second VP Harry Hassler opened the meeting with a prayer.
Treasurer Tony Lomanto mentioned those members who have died since our last meeting. He also gave a financial report.
Executive Secretary Ron Di Maio spoke about the upcoming Presidential Election.He stated that our Association does not usually endorse political candidates.This was his opinion, coming from him alone.Please consider the following:Hillary Clinton is anti gun and no friend of the police. He said that Donald Trump needs to go to finishing school and is not politically correct.However, he has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association.As retired police officers we should be aware of this and take it into consideration.
Tony Lomanto mentioned that Ret. Sgt. Bill Tricarico had a quadruple by pass and is in Lenox Hill Hospital, Rm. 923, Tel. # 646-785-8956.
Vinny Servedio mentioned the Golf Outing.Flyers are out there.
Tony Lomanto asked for a motion to be made that the spouse of a deceased member becomes an honorary member if they so wish to do. Motion was made and passed.
Vinny Manfredo’s son is on a farm team for the Minnesota Wild Hockey Team.
Joe McGarry, FOP Pres. Lodge 317, spoke about the Police Memorial held on May 7th.NassauCountyPD and NYPD made a poor showing. Cigar Night and Pig Roast will be coming up and the cost is $100.00 each person.Next meeting is August 25, 2016 with a BBQ at no charge. FOP Family Day Picnic is Sat., July 9th at LidoBeach.
Mary Fitzgerald distributed Mets-Yankees tickets for August 1st.
Mike Banehan, Ret. Correction Officer, spoke about 9/11 where he rescued many people from the WTC on a NYC Correction Dept. Boat. He applauded us as retired Transit Police Officers, stating that we had a dangerous job.
Legislative Committee Report:John Rini spoke about the Transit Police Memorial Mass for NYCPD Transit Bureau, held on May 17, at St. Athanasius RC Church.
Tony Piazza said Sen. Lanza asked the Senate to release our bill.They and the Assembly have not done so. They say that we need a Home Rule but we feel this is not necessary.
The Military Buy-Back Bill has been passed, which affects honorable discharged Veterans to buy back three years service credit. It only applies to active officers, not retirees
Ed Russo stated that our next meeting will be on Sept. 7th at the FOP Bldg.
Tony Lomanto, and First VP Mike Lanning ran the 50/50 drawing.
the meeting was adjourned.
Respectfully submitted, Executive Secretary, Vincent R. Di Maio
March 14, 2016 REPORT OF MARCH MEMBERSHIP MEETING
Thanks to Recording Secretary Bob Valentino:
MINUTES of the RETIREE’S MEETING on 3/02/2016
President Ed Russo called the meeting to order at 7:45 PM with the Pledge of Allegiance.Ed got a laugh when he mentioned that the NYPD would be implementing an 8P to 4A program.Déjà vu all over again.
Recording Secretary Bob Valentino mentioned that Inspector Stan Reiter has serious health issues.
Associate Member Mary Fitzgerald spoke about Met/Yankee tickets for the game at CitiField on August 1st. Very good seats at a cost of $110.00 each. If interested please call Mary at home (914) 231-5247 or cell (914) 263-1813. She also mentioned that at the Met game on August 19 Zack Brown will be appearing.
From our Legislative Committee, Tony Piazza and John Giangrasso spoke about the VSF and the two bills introduced by Senator Andrew Lanza (S5872) and Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (A6988). Tony asked that all members contact their respective representatives and ask them to support these bills which would correct the injustices that the City of New York brought upon the Transit and Housing Police. Tony said we paid into it and we deserve it. Member George Mitchell stated that Boro President Golden was interested in supporting the bills. Tony also mentioned the concern that a New York State Constitutional Convention may cause in the next few years. He mentioned that the City of New York was looking to deny us the Medicare Part B reimbursement but nothing could change until the year 2020.
FOP 317 President Joe McGarry indicated that the national & state cards would be delayed because their computer system is down. Joe mentioned the FOP Convention which will be held in Albany in October.
The raffle was conducted by Ed Russo and Mike Lanning. There were three $40.00 winners with additional prizes supplied by John Reeves.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:50P.M.
Submitted by Recording Secretary Bob Valentino
February 23, 2016 REQUEST FROM RET. DET. ARTHUR GIAMMARINO
Artie recently sent in a letter, along with his generous donation, mentioning he sells old Police PBA, DEA, SBA,LBA & CEA cards from any police departments and donates the money to AMVETS and/or St. Jude's Childrens Hospital for Cancer Research. If anyone has any of these cards and wishes to donate them, please send them to Artie. He will be greatly appreciative and will pay for any shipping costs.
Arthur Giammarino 8211 Brent Street Unit 842 Port Richey FL 34668
February 23, 2016 UPDATE FOR TRANSIT POLICE I.D. CARD RENEWAL
Our thanks to Lou Hollander for forwarding this important information:
The email below was received from Mike Hudor, who emailed me stating that he couldn’t get through on the telephone number that was originally posted. I gave him a phone number for a Lt. in the Transit Bureau who is in charge of the ID cards. Mike sent the information below. Keep the information below for future reference
Finally got ID renewal for out of state retirees answers. New point of contact P.O. Bazel 1-718-694-3671. He works in Transit Bureau Personnel and handles Transit and Housing Police retirees. (Nice young man who appreciates what Transit Police stood for) Bottom line, YOU MUST SHOW UP IN PERSON. 6-8 weeks before, FAX or email old ID card and drivers license, name, address and phone number. He will do a background check, to insure no arrests. 2 weeks prior, call him for appointment.
I attended my 10-13 meeting last Thursday night and all NYPD retirees are having the same problem. The system they had previously, like ours, of having an active Officer handle it has been stopped by PC Bratton.
Best regards, Michael Hudor
January 30, 2016 IMPORTANT VSF LETTER WRITING
Check the Political Issues page for important information on the VSF bills in Albany. It is important that all Transit Police retirees write to their representatives urging them to support those bills to correct the injustice shown us by the City of New York.
January 16, 2016 VSF UPDATE
From the Legislative Committee of Tony Piazza, John Rini and John Giangrasso, who are doing a great job trying to correct this injustice to the Transit Police retirees:
SENATE BILL S5872 SPONSORED BY SENATOR ANDREW LANZA
ASSEMBLY BILL A6988 SPONSORED BY ASSEMBLYMAN JOSEPH LENTOL
The above bills if enacted would extend the VSF BENEFIT to all the Transit Police Members who retired
20 years for service prior to July 1, 1987. It is important that all who are affected should contact their
representatives, preferably in person, and request their support for these bills. We can only do so much to
correct this injustice and need you to speak with your representatives for their support.
VSF LEGISLATIVE TEAM
Tony Piazza, Chairman
John Giangrasso, John Rini, Members
The team cannot do all this by themselves. They need your support so please do what you can to help this legislation pass.
December 26, 2015 PRESIDENT RUSSO ON THE CHRISTMAS & HOLIDAY PARTY
The association had another successful and enjoyable Holiday/Christmas Party on Wednesday, December 9th at ANTUN’S with favorable calls and comments. Our special guest, Chief of the New York City PoliceDepartment James O’Neill gave a very rewarding speech stating that he was proud to have once been a Transit Cop and learned much from those he worked with. He further stated that he would not be where he is today if it wasn't for us and will always remember us!
We also celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Classes of 1965, some of whose members were present at the party.
November 15, 2015 VSF LEGISLATION TO BE INTRODUCED AT NEXT SESSION
Thanks to our Legislative Committee -Tony Piazza, Chairman, John Giangrasso and John Rini for this information:
IMMEDIATE ATTENTION-VSF LEGISLATION SENATOR ANDREW LANZA,SENATE BILL S5872, ASSEMBLYMAN JOSEPH LENTOL, ASSEMBLY BILL A6988
The above bills would extend the VSF benefit for service retirees with 20 years of service, who retired prior to 7-1-1987.The legislative committee has met with Assemblyman Lentol, and has spoken with Senator Lanza.We ask that you contact your local NYS representatives, preferably in person, for their support of these bills.Also, those living in NYC should contact their NYC council members for their support.Your response to this request, hopefully, will get these bills to the Governor's desk.
September 3, 2015 SPECIAL AWARD FOR RET. SGT. FABIAN BLACHE
From Lou Hollander:
The Association extends a hearty congratulations to our member, Ret. Sgt. Fabian Blache, on this achievement.
August 20, 2015 LUCKY MIKE LAVELLE HITS IT AGAIN
Congrats are in order for Ret. P.O. Mike Lavelle on the winning of this 2015 Harley – Davidson motorcycle which he just picked up. As Mike told me at the Florida Reunion, he entered a raffle during the National Police Memorial in DC this past May. Congrats can be sent to Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org
On a funny side story, Mike was at the June meeting of FOP Lodge 317 telling us all about his winning the motorcycle at the Natiional Police Memorial raffle. He also entered the 50/50 raffle at the meeting. When the two winning tickets were drwan, Mike won BOTH!!! What a guy!
June 11, 2015 REPORT OF THE JUNE MEMBERSHIP MEETING
MINUTES of the RETIREE’S MEETING on 06/03/2015
1st Vice President Mike Lanning called the meeting to order at 7:45pm with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Minutes of the last meeting were waived. He mentioned that President Ed Russo was still under the weather and needed some cheering up.
Treasurer Tony Lomanto announced the members who passed away since our last meeting and asked for a moment of silence. Tony also mentioned the amount that was in the association’s bank accounts. Tony said that approximately 140 members have yet to pay their dues & about 100 of them have not paid in multiple years. He mentioned that our next Newsletter is scheduled to be distributed in October.
Recording Secretary Bob Valentino spoke about the Wounded Warriors Concert set for Saturday October 3, 2015 at Roslyn High School.
Vice President Mike Lanning introduced guest speaker Frank Ferreya who spoke about HR 218.Frank spoke about the importance of getting an insurance policy to protect each and every one of us. The cost mentioned was $250.00 a year for $100,000 of coverage (Criminal & Civil).
FOP Executive Joe McGarry spoke about a decrease in benefits for FOP members but he has scheduled a few fundraisers to try to get the benefits restored. He mentioned a July 11th picnic by the State FOP and a August 27 barbeque for Lodge 317 members.
The raffle was conducted by Mike Lanning & Tony Lomanto.There were three $40.00 winners with additional prizes supplied by John Reeves.
A prayer was said by 2nd Vice President Harry Hassler.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:45P.M.
Submitted by Recording Secretary Bob Valentino
June 11, 2015 UPDATE ON THE VSF LEGISLATION
Sent to us by Ret. Sgt. John Rini, Legislative Committee Member
Thru the efforts of the Legislative committee and the Association of NY State PBAs, Senate bill S.5872 was introduced. The bill is sponsored by Senator Lanza on 6/9/2015 and referred to the Rules Committee. It is the same as Assembly bill A.6988 sponsored by Assemblyman Lentol. It is important that you contact your local representatives from the Senate and Assembly, preferably in person, to ask for their support of these bills.
Legislative Committee Chairman Tony Piazza Members John Rini and John Giangrasso
The Board and members thank the Committee for all their hard work, time and efforts in the struggle to get what we justly deserve.
May 18, 2015 REPORT OF THE MAY MEMBERSHIP MEETING
Our thanks to our Recording Secretary Bob Valentino for his report:
MINUTES of the RETIREE’S MEETING on 05/06/2015
1st Vice President Mike Lanning called the meeting to order at 7:55pm with the Pledge of Allegiance. Minutes of the last meeting were waived.
Treasurer Tony Lomanto announced the 15 members who passed away since our last meeting and asked for a moment of silence. Tony also mentioned the amount that was in the association’s bank accounts. Tony indicated that President Ed Russo was under the weather and hoped for his speedy recovery. Tony also mentioned the sad killing of 25 year old NYPD 5 year veteran Detective Brian Moore. He concluded by stating that there is a F.O.P. Meeting on May 27th.
Recording Secretary Bob Valentino spoke about an Oldie Rock and Roll Show in October in support of the Wounded Warriors Project. Flyers will be distributed at our next meeting. Bob also mentioned that tickets are available for Friday June 12, 2015 Police Bowling League Dinner Dance at Verdis of Westury featuring The Drifters.
Tony Piazza gave an update of the status regarding the VSF and had additional documents for members to peruse.
At our next meeting on June 3rd there will be a guest speaker regarding HR 218. Also at the next meeting member Tony Norcia will speak about a highly recommended insurance for those who may carry.
Joe McGarry mentioned that New York State Senator Marty Golden spoke about Detective Brian Moore in such a positive way on the Senate Floor. Joe also mentioned that the May 27th F.O.P. meeting will be a barbecue.
The raffle was conducted by Treasurer Tony Lomanto. There were three $40.00 winners with additional prizes donated by John Reeves.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:45PM
March 9, 2015 MARCH MEMBERSHIP MEETING
From Recording Secretary Bob Valentino:
Minutes of the Retirees Meeting on 03/04/2015
President Ed Russo called the meeting to order at approximately 8:00pm with the Pledge of Allegiance. Minutes of the last meeting was waved.
Recording Secretary Bob Valentino asked members in attendance to read the accomplishments of our Hall of Fame athletes in the current edition of Beyond the Line. Bob also mentioned that about 70 years ago our departed member Joe Scutaro, a few days after his 20th birthday in 1945, landed on Iwo Jima and was wounded but survived and went on to have 5 daughters, 16 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. Bob asked the members in attendance to seek out Transit Police Retirees who are not members of the association and ask them to join our association.
1st Vice President Mike Lanning thanked Bob Valentino for Chairing the Hall of Fame Committee, the Retiree’s Association and all who helped make the Hall of Fame Dinner a success.
Treasurer Tony Lomanto announced the names of members who passed away since our last meeting. Tony also indicated what the amount was in our bank accounts. He spoke how grateful we are regarding the amount of donations that members submit in addition to their dues that help support the association. As of this date $7400.00 has been donated. Tony mentioned how costly it is to publish and mail Beyond the Line and that the donations really come in handy.
President Ed Russo introduced a new Associate Member, Mike Banahan, who was one of the first responders on September 11, 2001. Mike indicated that he had developed Cancer in 2005 but was very happy to be at our meeting and glad to be alive.
Tony Piazza spoke about the VSF and distributed documents that were very impressive and he was hoping that the politicians would see the injustice and that common decency would prevail.
The raffle was conducted with four $40.00 raffle winners with additional prizes donated by John Reeves.
2nd Vice President Harry Hassler said a closing prayer
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10pm
December 17, 2014 OUR CHRISTMAS AND HOLIDAY PARTY
The Retirees Association had its' annual Christmas and Holiday party on December 10th at Antuns Caterers. We had a good turnout with more than 75 members and guests attending. The highlight of the event was the appearance of NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton along with Chief of the Department James O'Neill (sworn in as Transit in 1983), and Transit Bureau Chief Joseph Fox. Also appearing was NYPD PBA President Pat Lynch and his Executive Board. They hadbeen at the PBA dinner for the families of the officers killed in the line of duty.
From left: Exec. Secty. Ron DiMaio, Rec. Secty. Bob Valentino, Comm. Bratton, Pres. Ed Russo, Ret. Lt. Ken Bynoe, and Treas. Tony Lomanto
Commissioner Bratton addressed those present and related to them how much he enjoyed being in command of the Transit Police Department in the 1990’s. He then proceeded to pose for photos for as long as they wanted with the many members and friends. The photos were taken by the association’s photographer and chief public relations officer, Joe Conway. Joe took over 300 photos of our affair and they can be view on his Shutterfly web-site at, www.ipa2delegate.shutterfly.com
November 12, 2014 REPORT OF NOVEMBER MEMBERSHIP MEETING
Submitted by Recording Secretary Bob Valentino
President Ed Russo called the meeting to order at approximately 7:40 PM with the Pledge of Allegiance. A motion was made and passed to waive the reading of the minutes of the last meeting.
Treasurer Tony Lomanto presented the list of members who passed away since the last meeting. He mentioned that approximately 100 members were delinquent in paying their 2014 dues and indicated the association’s assets. Tony mentioned that our "Beyond the Line" would probably be distributed in February and indicated that the dues for 2015 would be mailed out soon.
Recording Secretary Bob Valentino mentioned Veterans Day and thanked all who served including our own military veterans. Bob spoke about the Sports Hall of Fame Dinner and said that the inductees were very happy with the event. He said that former Transit Officer Jim O’Neill has been promoted to Chief of the Department (NYPD).
President Ed Russo mentioned the Class of 1961 and the class of 1964 (50 years). He spoke about speed cameras and the change from 30MPH to 25MPH in the City of New York.
Legislative Chairman Tony Piazza spoke about the VSF and mentioned that the NYPD DEA and the NYS Association of PBAs will now support our case in Albany. He mentioned that the VSF Fund no longer exists and the city now takes the money out of the pension fund. Tony was hopeful that 2 bills supporting us would be submitted. Tony, along with his fellow legislative members, Ret. Sgt. John Rini and Ret. P.O. John Giangrasso, were given a round of applause for their work on the VSF issue.
Our Police Surgeon, Doctor Gerald Ente, spoke about the Flu and Ebola viruses. He highly recommended the Flu shot and informed the membership about how they could catch Ebola. He also spoke about Shingles and recommended the Shingles shot but indicated that it is expensive. It was mentioned that veterans could get the shot from the ‘VA’.
Member Tom Greer (active Nassau PD Highway Officer) spoke and recommended that we tune in to CBS channel 2 on November 18th at 10:00pm. He is appearing in the show and in a speaking part.
President Ed Russo asked member, Ret. Lt. Chet Levy if he still makes the trip to Albany. Chet said no because our current Governor is not our friend. He recently vetoed a military time buy-back for retirees's pensions.
The 50/50 raffle was conducted with (4) $30.00 prizes and other assorted prizes.
2nd Vice President Harry Hassler said a closing prayer and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:00pm.
November 2, 2014 GREAT SUCCESS AT TRANSIT POLICE SPORTS HALL OF FAME AWARDS
Our Recording Secretary Bob Valentino did an outstanding job of organizing the First Transit Police Sports Awards Dinner held at Verdi's Caterers on October 9th. Many fellow member retirees who were outstanding in their respective sport were given plaques from the Retirees Association. The affair was ably hosted by Bobby and emceed by Ret. Sgt. Emil Stucchio who did a grand job presenting the award holders to the families and guests attending the dinner.
Here are just a few photos I took and we expect more to follow from Bobby.
November 2, 2014 REPORT OF OCTOBER MEMBERSHIP MEETING
After indulging in the fine food catered by Verdi's of Westbury, the meeting was called to order by President Ed Russo who led the membership with the Pledge of Allegiance. A moment of silence was held for our aick and departed members and fellow retirees and for the armed forces serving overseas. 1st VP Mike Lanning was absent as he was convalescing after a recent gall bladder removal. We wish him well with his recovery.
Before the meeting started, NYPD SBA Vice President Bob Ganley spoke to the members of a raffle being held to raise monies to assist spouses of retired Lifetime SBA members, who pass away with their SBA COBRA payments. The success of the raffle allows the SBA to pay for the COBRA benefits for widows, who do not have benefits available to them. Members who retired from the Transit Police, prior to the merge, are eligible for this benefit.
A motion was made to waive the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting as representatives from two of the health coverage companies were present to speak. Joseph Martinez from Emblem Health (GHI / HIP) and Dominick Pellegrini of Blue Cross/Blue Shield spoke to the members and reminded them that November is the period when retirees can change their current health plans.
The members were also reminded that this year's Christmas and Holiday Party to be held on December 10th at Antuns will again cost $20 for paid members and $25 for guests.
Pres. Russo next had the honor of presenting NY State Senator Joseph Lentol to speak to the members. Sen Lentol, for many years, has always been a staunch supporter of Transit Police Officers, having had numerous legislation passed for their benefit. He spoke of his loyalty to the Transit Police and how he helped secure a bill to ensure our right to carry.
President Russo then presented Sen. Lentol with a plaque in appreciation for all his work on our behalf.
Legislative Chairman Tony Piazza spoke admirably about Sen. Lentol and how the Senator always welcomed members of our Association with open arms.
Recording Secty. Bob Valentino then spoke of the upcoming Sports Awards Dinner (see above) and asking the members to speak to their friends and fellow retirees who may want to attend this festive event.
Treasurer Tony Lomanto spoke of the current financial standing of the Association and how well we are currently doing. As to the membership, we still have a large number of members who still haven't paid for 2014 and if you know of any, please ask them to send in their dues. We have been carrying quite a few unpaid member on the roster and continued mailings and notices still have gone unanswered. New member Charlie Papio was present at this meeting and was introduced to the members.
After the 50/50 drawings, the meeting was adjourned.
October 21, 2014 HEALTH NEWS FROM OUR HONORARY POLICE SURGEON
We received this important health information from our Honorary Police Surgeon, Dr. Gerald Ente:
Although some Ebola infections have occurred in the United States, influenza causes between 3,000 and 49,000 deaths every year in the United States (1). In comparison, there have been only 2 cases of Ebola infection acquired in the United States. Because both Ebola and influenza are viral infections, the early symptoms are very similar and difficult to differentiate,
It is therefore imperative that every susceptible person in the United States be immunized against influenza in order to: 1. Prevent illness and possible death from influenza 2. Prevent the emergency departments and clinicians from being overwhelmed with early influenza patients for whom Ebola may need to be considered and/or eliminated as a possibility 3. Prevent unnecessary concern on the part of patients who develop early influenza and are concerned about Ebola.
It has always been prudent to immunize against influenza annually.
This year getting immunized against influenza is good personal health, good public health and possibly a patriotic duty!
So get out to your doctor, roll up your sleeve, and get the flu shot. We need to keep our members alive and well.
October 19, 2014 IMPORTANT TAX NEWS FOR 9/11 VICTIMS
Loureceived this photo from Danny Curtin email@example.com who told me “Another thing crossed of my bucket list.”
The band played at Met Life Field in NJ at First Responders Night. There were 5 bands that played that night. The NY Shields band played during Half Time. The Jets lost.
September 7, 2014 PHOTOS FROM LI ROMEO (& JULIET) LUNCHEON
There was a good turnout at the latest Long Island ROMEO and JULIET luncheon held on August 14th at Stella's Restaurant in Floral Park and thanks go to Vinnie Servedio for hosting another great get-together. The photos below are from that party and my deepest regrets to Tony Magliano for not getting him in one of the photos. He only sat at the same table as I did. Sorry, Tony.
Tony Norcia - Carol Burke - Barbara and Deo Fasolino
Bill Tricarico - Dave Kolman
Natalie and Luke Scarangello Emily and Dan McGowan
Catherine and Jim Delury
Joe and Arlene Adamo
Tommy Strong - Tom sarocco - Jim Venezia
Vinnie Servedio and Pete Cardalena
John Galvani and Al Pietronigro
Dave Kolman and John Mahlan
Another group photo and that's Tony Magliano in the back to the left of Bob Valentino
Al Pietronigro - Vinnie Servedio - John Galvani - Bill Tricarico - Dave Kolman - John Mahlan
Tony Lomanto and Frank Cerar
Ed Russo - Bob Lentol - Bob Valentino
May 14, 2014 REPORT ON MAY MEMBERSHIP MEETING
The meeting was held at the NY State Fraternal Order of Police Headquarters building in Hicksville, Long Island. We expected a decent turnout and an appropriate amount of food was ordered. However...we had a better attendance at this meeting but, unfortunately, we actually ran out of food!!!
President Russo opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence was held for our departed fellow officers, those on the Sick List, and our armed forces serving in harm's way.
Newly appointed Recording Secretary Bob Valentino spoke on his new position on the board and will strive to do his best for the membership. He already brought in a few new members from the bowling league. Thanks, Bob!
I, your Treasurer, gave my report. Financially, we are doing well. As to membership, we still have 145 past members who still have not sent in their dues for 2014. Next month, I will send out reminder postcards and if no response after that, will have to delete them from the membeship roster. we dislike doing this, but mailing costs are not getting cheaper and when we get no response after a few mailings, why go through the trouble over and over? we still get Post Office notice of members moving but unable to forward. Again, a reminder to all that if you move, please let us know.
Tony Norcia spoke of an insurance policy available to those retirees who have takenthe HR 218 course for carry in other states. Remember...homeowner policies do not cover liability if you had to use your weapon. The name of the company is The Public Servants Defense Agency. Liability options are $100,00 and $250,000 which covers defense and indemnity protection for civil action brought against an insured when using a firearm in self-defense. If interested, contact Tony at ANS Associates, 115 Beech Street, Floral Park NY 11001-3001 tel #516-328-2270 or their website at www.ans-associates.com
On the matter of the VSF, Tony Piazza, John Giangrasso and John Rini spoke of their continuing meetings with the State legislators and the latest problem being encountered with the City and the Actuarial Report by Robert North. They found it amazing that the cost figures that were detailed years ago are now higher even with the number of eligible retirees diminishing through deaths. The legislative committee is doing a great job fighting for this just cause and we wish them success. Our thanks to the team!
Joe McGarry, FOP Lodge 317 President, soke of a "Day at Belmont" on Saturday, May 17th. For a small cost of $10, you get entrance to the track, a program, and food and drinks at the BBQ area. If interested, contact Joe at 516-314-0155 or check out the Meeting and Events page for further details.
John Galvani made a motion to eliminate the food charge for the Executive Board members presently being done. John spoke of the work the board members have been doing for the members and feel the charge is not warranted. His motion was seconded and the motion was passed unanimously. Thank you, John.
After the 50/50 drawing and awarding of prizes. many graciously donated by John Reeves, the meeting was adjourned.
May 11, 2015 FIRST LONG ISLAND R.O.M.E.O LUNCHEON A GREAT SUCCESS
Ret. P.O. Vinnie Servedio did it again when he originated and had the first of many to come, Long Island R.O.M.E.O. luncheons on April 25th at Koening's Restaurant in Floral Park, Long Island. There were 30 retiress at the affair (me included) and everyone had a great time. Of course, many war stories abounded at each table as we all spoke of the days gone by while working in the greatest police department in the world - TRANSIT!
These photos were taken at the luncheon
Master of Ceremonies Vinnie Servedio
Artie Heaney - Pete Cardalena - Vinnie Servedio
Dan McGowan - Tony Lomanto - Tony Magliano - Rudy Rognon
Tony Norcia - Carol Burke - Jim Brown
Dan McGowan - Tony Magliano - Rudy Rognon - Tony Scumaci
Dave Kolman - Joe Sacrestano - Luke Scarangello - Joe Adamo
Jim Delury - Paul Murphy - Marilyn Scahill - Bob Nieves
Joe Adamo - Richie Solieri - Al Farinella - Dan Rivituso
John Rini - Ron DiMaio
Manny Busto - Dave Kolman
March 21, 2014 IMPORTANT COURT CASE ABOUT PENSIONERS
Our thanks to Ret. Det. Alan Berkowitz fro sending us this informative article.
PENSION PRIVACY COURT CASE Pension Privacy Case on Top of NY Court's Docket by Joseph Spector - Gannett Press
Later this month, the State Court of Appeals will hear an appeal of a case on whether public pension information should be kept private.
The Empire Center for Public Policy has been in a legal battle for years with several public pension systems after lower courts ruled starting in 2011 that the names of pensioners do not need to be made public.
The fiscally conservative think tank in Albany won the right to argue the case before the state’s highest court last June after an appeals court in Albany ruled in February 2013 to keep private the details of teachers’ pensions.
Timothy Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center, said the ultimate decision by the Court of Appeals, which is scheduled to hear the case March 26, would have a significant impact on what pension information is made public. "This is incredibly important," Hoefer said. "If we don’t prevail on this measure, then we lose a major right of access to pensioners’ names." In recent years, most public pension systems in New York have refused to release details about pension recipients and how much they are receiving in retirement.
The only one to keep the records public is the retirement system managed by the Comptroller’s Office. It is the state’s largest pension system, with more than 1 million active members and retirees, and valued at $173.2 billion.
The Empire Center sued the state Teachers’ Retirement System in 2012 after the system in 2011 would no longer release the names of teachers receiving taxpayer-funded pensions. The move came after a state appeals court ruled in October 2011 that a New York City police pension fund was not public.
The center, which publishes pension details on its website, www.SeeThroughNY.net , has argued that the courts have incorrectly ruled against it. The center claims that the courts have confused the right to keep private the details of spousal pension benefits with the actual retired state workers. News organizations have filed amicus briefs in recent years in support of the Empire Center’s case, including Gannett Co. Inc., which owns the Democrat and Chronicle. The news organizations have regularly reported on pension data.
In their own briefs, the Public Employees Federation and the New York State United Teachers argued that the information should be kept private. The unions said that any analysis of pension data could be done without the names of retirees. "The privacy interests at issue also greatly outweigh the nominal to negligible benefit that the Empire Center would receive in obtaining" the names, PEF said in its legal filing. NYSUT said the release of the names would "constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy under (the Freedom of Information Law)."
Robert Freeman, executive director of the the state Committee on Open Government, said the names of pensioners is clearly public. He said it would be a major step backward for public disclosure in New York if the current rulings were upheld by the Court of Appeals. "It would be unnecessarily unfortunate to have a situation in which the government as a whole spends billions of dollars and the public has no way of knowing where it’s going," Freeman said. Freeman said that if the Empire Center loses, unions could sue and perhaps force the Comptroller’s Office to also seal its records. "Our belief is that this kind of information unquestionably should be public," Freeman said. "You’re talking about an expenditure of public money that may go on for years and years."
The FDNY provided both pension amounts and names of pensioners. The PBA fought to keep their pensioners names from being made public and were successful. The above court case will finally decide if pension amounts and names should be public info.
March 15, 2014 REPORT OF MARCH MEMBERSHIP MEETING
Our thanks to our 2nd VP Harry Hassler for being the temporary Recording Secretary that night.
The first meeting of 2014 had a good turnout at Antuns and we wish to thank all who attended.
Pres. Ed Russo opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. A moment of silence was held for the retirees who passed away since the December meeting and for the Armed Forces serving in harm's way overseas. This was followed by a prayer from 2nd VP Harry Hassler.
I (your Treasurer) mentioned that the financial status of the association is in good order. I then spoke of the latest issue of our newsletter, "Beyond the Line" having been completed and mailed out. As of this date, members already started receiving their issues. If you have not received your copy (for PAID members only) by the end of March, please contact me at 516-678-0833 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will mail a copy out immediately and by 1st class postage. Keep in mind that the newsletter is mailed 3rd class postage because of the cost and takes longer than normal 1st class mail. We wish to thank our Editor, Frank Crisa, for doing another great job in putting together a magazine that is enjoyed not only by our members, but by anyone who receives a copy. This issue was a record 40 pages full of articles, photos and many letters from the members.
Harry Hassler next introduced and presented a plaque to Tracy Uhnak, in honor of her mother, the late Transit Police Detective Dorothy Uhnak, who became a detective in the department and went on to write several best selling police mystery novels and was instrumental in the production of TV series involving police detectives.
Pres. Russo next informed the members that our current Recording Secretary Harry Nicolino, has resigned from office and will be moving to Florida because of his mother's health issues. Ed then went on to introduce Ret. Lt. Bob Valentino as the next Recording secretary. Bob spoke to the members of his career in Transit and his association with TPD spokesman Al O'Leary and will do his best to better the association. We welcome Bob to the Executive Board and wish him great success.
Ed next introduced member and FOP Lodge 317 President Joe McGarry whospoke to the members of a 10-13 benefit for Ret. Det. Jimmy O'Shaughnessy to be held on Saturday, April 12th. See the full details on our Meetings and Events page. Ed then reported that the Retirees Association donated $500 to Jimmy "O" to assist him with the rising medical costs incurred since a fall last year left him physically incapacitated.
Next to speak was Vinnie Servedio who has started the ball rolling for a Long Island R.O.M.E.O Club. The first meeting is scheduled for April 25th at Keonig's in Floral Park. Again, see the Meetings and Events page for full details.
Next up was Tony Piazza and John Giangrasso of the VSF Committee who spoke of the ongoing meetings with the NYS legislative representatives and the continuing struggle to achieve the VSF benefit for those wrongfully denied. They reported they feel talks with Senators Lanza, Skelos and Goldman are favorable to our cause and further meetings with the Governor and others will be scheduled. Questions from the floor brought out certain facts, most important was that the benefit is only applicable to retirees who left 'from service' - that is they did 20 years or more and did not go out on any disability or vested status. Despite some disagreement from some members present, this issue will always be one of it all coming down to the issue of parity with NYPD and NYFD. At present numbers, there are approximately 570 Transit and 275 Housing retirees involved. Until a bill is presented in Albany (and it is being worked on) we cannot push for a favorable "home rulle" message from City Hall.
Ed finally introduced Mary Fitzgerald regarding the baseball tickets for 2014. All dealings will be done through Mary as the Association will not be handling any ticket purchases. Mary requests you contact her on her cell at 914 263 1813 or e-mail email@example.com, if you are interested in either the Mets opening day game on Monday, March 31st against the Nationals at 1:10 PM, or the Mets-Yankees games on May 14 and 15 at 7:10 PM
Be advised that this is only an inquiry by Mary in that she cannot purchase tickets unless she has a firm commitment from members and friends to purchase the minimum number of tickets in order to receive the group discount rate. Mary states that the money must be given to her up front! All contact must be only with Mary and not the association.
After the 50/50 drawings, the meeting was adjourned.
March 9, 2014 RETIRED TRANSIT DETECTIVE MAKES IT TO NATIONAL T.V.
Ret. Det. Freddy Mack made it to the big time national television the other night when he was the topic of an episode on the Investigation Discovery network. The segment was based on the NY Post headlines from April, 1982 after the arrest of a person who forced a hostage to decapitate the owner of a topless bar who he had just shot and killed. Freddy was on duty in District 1 when the hostage and the victim's wife left the sleeping perp in a car nearby and went to look for police. Freddy responded and when he was struggling with the perp, he reached for his weapon only to realize he left it back in his office. Nice going, Freddy!
I took this photo from the TV screen. - Tony
February 8, 2014 CONTACT IN EMPLOYEE BENEFITS SECTION
To My Friends and Members,
I received a thank you phone call from Cheryl Clark, Director, New York City Employee's Benefits, Medicare Part "B"Reimbursements who is in receipt of a package of various police association cards and decals I sent her. She appreciated what I gave her.
She told me that if any of our members have any problems or issues with Medicare Part "B" reimbursements, I should direct them to her and she will handle the problem personally. Call me (718-428-4344) for her phone number if you need to call her.
November 10, 2013 UPDATE ON NYS SAFE ACT
New York Safe Act Amendment Update
In an effort to clear up any misinformation or misunderstanding, I have the following update:
This summer, an amendment was added to the NY SAFE ACT.This amendment exempts retired law enforcement officers from the restriction to seven rounds in a ten round magazine.The criteria are as follows:
As per the XO of the NYCPD License Division, via Bobby Ganley, Vice President of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, if you used a semi-auto pistol, high capacity magazine, example (Glock) while you were an active law enforcement officer, and qualified with it within one year prior to retirement, then you may carry said weapon. You must qualify every three years and it must be the same pistol. To qualify, the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act-HR218 will be acceptable.
This exemption only applies to said duty weapon.Period of time since retirement is not withstanding.
Vincent R. Di Maio
November 9, 2013 REPORT OF NOVEMBER MEMBERSHIP MEETING
Pres. Russo sent out numerous emails calling for members to attend and mention of the importance of this meeting was also placed in the last issue of our newsletter.
We would like to have reported another good meeting but, unfortunately, the turnout at this Brooklyn meeting failed to generate a required qourum to hold a regular meeting. As a result of this, there were only informal discussions but most important, the Executive Board will decide if any future meetings will again be held in Brooklyn. The cost factor of renting the hall and providing refreshments at no cost to the membership cannot continue in this manner.
We wish to thank Lou Hollander for forwarding the following information as provided by Ret. Insp. Carol Burke
A mailing from the NYPD Superior Officers Fund said the following:
On the Federal level, the full implementation of the "Affordable Care Act" places in jeopardy our ability to continue to provide prescription drug coverage to our active and retired members from the Welfare Fund. The ACT required we remove annual caps on drug coverage, mandatory coverage for many drugs that we currently exclude and charge a tax on each "life" we currently provide benefits to. Many other NYC unions are DROPPING this benefit forcing their members to purchase drug rider from their medical plan with an associated cost of $1200 and 2800 per year. The CEA has made some changes to our plan design and will rely on our accumulated reserve balance to continue the benefit for 2014 and beyond.
So some of us are safe for a few years, but eventually Obama and his cohorts will make sure that they redistribute our money for the greater good (or who they consider to be the greater good).
Everyone here should check with their unions to see how Obamanation Care will affect them and their families.
"You can Keep your Healthcare and your Doctor and you will save $2500 a year" was one of the biggest lies ever told by a President of the USA.
He should be impeached and the rest of the idiots who passed a bill they didn't read need to be voted out and/or impeached.
I have never disliked a President as much as this one. Liar in Chief.
July 10, 2013 TRANSIT SUMMER PICNIC A RESOUNDING SUCCESS
The annual Transit Summer Picnic held on Tuesday, July 9th and put together by Tommy Strong and Vinny Servedio and held at Eisenhower Park on Long Island, was another successful gathering. There was a good turnout of retirees and their families along with a few strangers who joined in on the festivities. The food was never-ending and with the help of chefs Vinny Servedio, Tony Norcia, John Rini, Deo Fasolino and myself, everyone had their fill of delicious barbecue offerings, and side dishes, most notably the four large London broil steaks that were being devoured faster than I was able to slice them.
The Picnic Committe wishes to take this opportunity to thank Ret. NCPD Sgt. Kevin Matthews (son of the late Ret. Sgt.Ray Matthews)for his cash donation to the affair from the prize he won at the last Transit Retirees meeting.
Already Vinny and Tommy are planning next year's picnic, so when the date comes out, mark your calendar.
June 27, 2013 ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL FLORIDA TRANSIT REUNION
Our heartfelt thanks to Lou Hollander, John Caruso, Bill Woods, Bill McKechnie, Tommy Crimmins and their wives who put up with the time involved in putting together the annual reunions, for another year of great reunion festivities. If I failed to mention any others, I offer my apologies.
The attendance was enhanced with the arrivals of many retired Transit officers and their wives (or significant others) from the classes of the '80s. The gambling boat cruise on Thursday night was enjoyable and a few hit jackpots while most of us paid into the funds. At the Saturday night dinner, Lola and The Saints put on a magnificent show with Bill McKechnie as the Master of Ceremonies and all decked out in his finery. I had the opportunity during the break to thank Lou and the Reunion Committee for the plaque that had been presented to me at last year's reunion which I unfortunately had to cancel due to the recent passing away of my wife.
A few memorable highlights of the event included a Memorial plaque engraved on Silestone with the names of the Transit Police Officers killed in the line of duty and given to Lou Hollander by Tom Fiorito, son of Ret. P.O. Patsy Fiorito, a Memorial plaque given to Lou by Hank Melchiona, and finally, the Memorial Plaque from Transit Bureau Chief Joseph Fox that was on display atthe Transit Bureau Memorial Mass recently held in Brooklyn. The photos are below.
April 14, 2013 SPECIAL PLAQUE PRESENTED BY RET. P.O. HANK MELCHIONE
At the latest meeting of the Transit Police Memorial FOP Lodge 317 on Thursday, April 11th, Ret. P.O. Henry "Hank" Melchione presented a special plaque he had made up to Ret. P.O. Joe McGarry, President of the lodge. The plaque was made to remind the new police officers in the Transit Bureau of the supreme sacrifice of 13 of our fellow officers in the NYC Transit Police Department. The photos below show Hank with Joe McGarry and Ed Russo. The photo of the plaque itself was sent to us by Lou Hollander.
We wish to thank Lou Hollander for forwarding us this information:
HR 218 INFORMATION REPRINTED FROM FOP LODGE NY 3100 NEWSLETTER
Since the sheer size of the NYCPD exceeds the armed forces of many of the world’s nations, the experiences of its members are certainly rich with concepts and lessons many may learn from. It is with this in mind that the following piece is being shared with others who may have made the conscious decision to voluntarily be part of our nation’s Homeland Security by virtue of your decision to be qualified under the federal program known to many merely as HR 218; Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act. This outstanding and perhaps potentially invaluable information is an excerpt article from the publication called ‘THE CHEVRON’ – produced by the Retired Sergeants’ Association, comprised of retired personnel from the NYCPD, given to me by a member on March 21, 2013:
HR 218 / L.E.O.S.A. UPDATE
“In spite of the foot dragging on the part of 1 P.P. (sic: NYCPD HQ), many of you are now managing to qualify under the provisions set forth in the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act. This means that more and more of us are traveling throughout the country while legally carrying firearms. Naturally, this increases the possibility of our members having to use their firearm to defend themselves or someone else. We hope and pray that you never need to use your firearm. However should you find yourself in that situation, we thought it a good idea to remind you of some facts and make several recommendations.
First and foremost remember that LEOSA is not a federal carry permit. It is an affirmative defense under federal statutes. Second, and perhaps even more important, in any incident; you are not a police officer, and therefore not entitled to that benefit of the doubt. As you travel to other jurisdictions, be aware that every state has laws which allow you to defend yourself against death or bodily harm. Each state is different; some require that you retreat before using deadly physical force. Wherever possible familiarize yourself with the requirements of the state you are in. Unfortunately this is not always practical. It is therefore suggested that in all cases;whenever you can retreat before having to resort to the use of deadly physical force, do so.
We strongly recommend that you develop a relationship with an attorney or purchase self defense insurance. Policies are offered by both the NRA and FOP to their members. Premiums are reasonable. Private insurers also offer insurance.
Should an incident occur, and we sincerely hope it never does, there are some things you need to be aware of.
Immediately call 911 to report the incident. Request an ambulance for the perp. Hopefully your training has kicked in and you have preserved you and your loved one’s physical safety. Now your focus shifts to your liberty and financial security. So your next call should be to a lawyer or a 24 hour hot line number provided by your insurance carrier. Remember that when you speak to 911, the calls are recorded. Prosecutors can and will use the contents of the call. Therefore be brief. Identify yourself, and your location. Describe yourself and what you are wearing. Briefly tell the operator that you shot a person(s) who was trying to harm you, rob you, carjack you, etc. Avoid the impulse to give great detail. Very often in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic incident you may forget an important detail or add something which may be used against you in a criminal or civil case. You can’t take it back. The less said the better.
When the police arrive, PUT THE GUN DOWN. Comply with their orders and instructions without question. Do not argue with them. They know neither what is going on nor who is who. If they handcuff you submit without argument. Do not become chatty. Don’t try to avoid a night in jail by talking too much. Best to say that the person was trying to harm you and you defended yourself. Inform them that you will give a full statement after you have conferred with your attorney.
Remember, how you are treated will depend largely upon how zealous the individuals you deal with are, and upon their degree of common sense or lack thereof. Your firearm will most likely be confiscated. It should be returned when the matter is resolved in your favor.
In summary, have a lawyer and carry insurance. Be prudent in the use of firearms. Cooperate with investigating officers but be brief and be represented by a lawyer.”
From President Jeff Kayser, President of The New York State Police Investigators Association
Update on SAFE Act Legislation
I want to update you on key changes being enacted to amend sections of Governor Cuomo's SAFE Act. We anticipate that these amendments will be contained within this year’s Budget. While we view these amendments as necessary, they do not go far enough. The proposed changes to the law will only provide exemptions for our active members, but not our retired members. This is not acceptable.
Below is a summary of the amendments that we anticipate will be part of the Budget:
• 1. Penal Law Section 265.01 - a (police officers will be exempt from provisions prohibiting individuals from possessing firearms on school grounds)
• 2. 265.01 - b subdivision 1 (police officers will be exempt from subdivision one of the new section of law entitled "Criminal Possession of a Firearm". The registration requirements of subdivision 2 will still apply)
• 3. 265.36 (police officers will be exempt from this section of the penal law entitled "Unlawful possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device" which outlaws magazines and similar devices that have a capacity of more than 10 rounds)
• 4. 265.37 (police officers will be exempt from this section of the Penal Law entitled "Unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices” which makes it a crime to possess a magazine or similar device that contains more than 7 rounds of ammunition)
• 5. Paragraph (h) of subdivision twenty-two of section 265.00 (police officers will be exempt from certain provisions regarding the sale or exchange of certain weapons and magazines)
NOTE: This is a partial summary of the provisions that directly affect police officers. We will post the full text of the amendments on our website once they are signed into law. RETIREE NOTE: Currently, no exemptions exist for retirees. This is unacceptable to us and we will continue to fight to achieve retiree exemptions.
Acknowledging that this legislation and its amendments are unacceptable, NYSPIA is continuing to work jointly with other law enforcement unions on this important issue. I will be announcing dates for NYSPIA members to assist in our lobbying efforts and it is important that both active and retired members participate. Please continue reviewing the NYSPIA website for updates.