NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The midterm congressional primaries are kicking into full gear and there is a tidal wave of female candidates running for office this year.
Although filing deadlines have yet to pass in every state, the country is already seeing a record number of women running for Congress. Many women are also on the ground in gubernatorial races, as well as some state legislative and municipal elections.
"We're looking at close to double the number of women who ran in previous record years," said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers. "When we look at the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House and statewide elected offices we're at over 700 women who are running for office. We're really seeing a huge increase in the U.S. House."
Many believe the 2016 presidential election is responsible for inspiring women to run.
"So many people got engaged in that election whether they were pro-Trump or pro-Hillary and they got off the sidelines and started volunteering and talking about politics," said Mendham Township Committeewoman Amalia Duarte. "I think right now it's wonderful because women need to be represented, we need to be at the table otherwise we're on the menu, or so goes the quote. I'm hoping that women continue to be engaged, continue to run and continue to stay involved in politics because it's important. These are our lives."
Walsh credits President Donald Trump.
"I think a piece of it was the defeat of Hillary Clinton, I think a larger part of that though is the election of Donald Trump," Walsh said. "I think for a lot of women they thought that when the Access Hollywood tape came out that he couldn't possibly win, that it would be disqualifying for anyone to get elected president of the United States who openly talked about sexually assaulting women."
Montclair State University Political Science and Law Professor Brigid Harrison agrees.
"We can't deny the influence that President Trump's incendiary rhetoric has had," Harrison said. "It has really ticked some women off and really made them mobilized and compelled to do something on a very personal level."
But Walsh thinks it goes beyond sexism.
"I think it went also to the actual policies that women care about and feeling like some of the things that they were concerned about -- issues like health care and the environment -- were really in jeopardy and that they needed to have a voice of their own," Walsh said. "It was a real kind of clarion call about the fact that elections have real consquences and that women really felt that they had to find a way to have their own power, their own voice and to be able to exercise their power in the electoral system and I think all of that has led to women being more engaged."
Roughly three-quarters of the congressional female candidates are Democrats.
"There needs to be more done on the Republican side because political parity will not be achieved in this country on the back of one political party, both parties have to have a commitment to that," Walsh said.
But it's not just Democrats.
"On the Republican side, you are seeing some Republican women saying, 'You know what, this is not my party. This is not what I believe in. I'm not a Democrat but this does not represent how I see the future of my party and so I'm going to do something abnout it,'" Harrison said.
Republican Chele Chiavacci Farley, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, said she's been traveling the state and speaking to people told her they're appalled and disappointed at the general chaos they see in Washington.
"There's obstruction on both sides of the aisle and they've lost faith in their government leaders," Farley said.
Over the coming weeks, WCBS Newsradio 880 will examine the challenges women have faced, what it will take to achieve parity and how the political landscape is changing.
Neil A. Carousso produced WCBS Newsradio 880 reporter Peter Haskell’s video series The New Wave: Women in Politics. See the first installment here.
Campaign Urges Veterans To Get Mental Health Care If They Need It
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a campaign to urge veterans to get help for if they need it.
The campaign is called “Mental Health Means a Stronger You.” It aims to reshape the perceptions and treatment by outlining the success stories of vets who have reached out for mental health support.
WCBS 880 Producer Neil A. Carousso talked about the campaign this week with Marine Corps veteran Moses Maddox – now veterans retention counselor at California State University San Marcos – and Dr. Wendy Tenhula, director of innovation and collaboration at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
It is part of the “Make a Connection” program, the VA’s ongoing national mental health outreach effort.
“While the conversation for mental health has gotten better, there’s still this stigma that, you know, either you’re weak or you’re crazy – a variety of things that people say when it comes to seeking, you know, mental health, that frankly just aren’t true, and that treatment is something that should be thought out, and that recovery can be achieved as long as you take your treatment seriously and as long as you actually go out there and seek that help,” Maddox said.
Maddox said some veterans might not seek out mental health care because of the stigma, some are concerned that it might limit their employment opportunities, and some don’t want to admit they need help because they feel like they can go through anything after having gone to war.
“And then they come home, and something as simple as a college class is extremely difficult because they’re cycling through things,” Maddox said. “So there’s a variety of reasons why people don’t go seek help, and this movement that we’re trying to do; this message is to say, ‘Hey, OK, people have been there before. We’ve gone through it. You’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to open yourself up and get that help.”
Tenhula said the “Make a Connection” program was launched a few years ago “to raise awareness about mental health conditions and to inform veterans, as well as their family members and other loved ones, as well as their country at large, that mental health conditions are treatable.”
She said hundreds of veterans have come forward and talked about their own difficulties, the treatments they have received, and how those treatments have made a difference.
“There are effective treatments available, and that recovery is possible,” Tenhula said.
Maddox said there are many factors that go into an effective mental health care treatment program.
“One is having a really good counselor who is very honest about the process; who told me that some days are going to be better than others; that there’s going to be sessions where I might leave the session feeling worse than when I started, but it was all part of the process,” he said.
He added that the first step is just to get help and understand that doing so can be scary and stressful – particularly since a therapist will start out as a stranger to whom a veteran is assigned.
“But keep in mind that it is OK; that it is a process, and you have to stick with it. There’s going to be days where it’s incredibly difficult. There’s going to be times when it’s going to be hard to go out of bed, and there’s always an excuse; a reason not to go. You have to not listen to that,” Maddox said. “Once you take that first step, you have to follow through, and those stressors tend to go away once you get comfortable with the process; once you start to see little incremental changes.”
The VA has also expanded the methods veterans can use to access mental health care, Tenhula said
“We’ve expanded the use of telehealth for mental health conditions, so a veteran can be in one location, and their doctor or therapist can be in another location, and they can work together using video conferencing technology. VA also has a number of mental health-related mobile phone apps,” she said.
Maddox’s message for other veterans was that he has an idea of what they’re going through – and he said veterans like openness, honesty, and frankness.
“It’s natural. But you’re not weak for going to seek out mental health treatment, and in fact, saying that I do need help is a great sign of strength, and that’s what we really encourage,” Maddox said.
Prosecutor: Mexican Drug King, Alleged Underlings Brought Enough Fentanyl Into NYC To Kill Millions
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A Mexican drug kingpin and five others were indicted Tuesday in an alleged drug smuggling conspiracy, which authorities said brought enough fentanyl into New York City to kill 10 million people.
In the indictment filed by the New York City Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Francisco Quiroz-Zamora, 41 – also known as “Gordo” – was charged with operating as a major trafficker, conspiracy, and criminal sale of a controlled substance.
An indictment alleged Quiroz-Zamora, of the Sinaloa Cartel, was the Mexican-based source of a recent large shipments of fentanyl to New York City, and alleged that
A resident of San José del Cabo, Mexico, Quiroz-Zamora allegedly arranged for narcotics to be smuggled from Mexico to Arizona and California on trucks and cars and with drug couriers. He allegedly communicated directly with New York City drug customers, and arranged for members of his trafficking network to conduct drug deals, prosecutors said.
“Kingpin or major trafficker charges carry a life sentence, and that’s important because he had direct dealings from Mexico with a distribution network in New York City and with an undercover officer, and he was responsible for sending to New York City at least 50 pounds of fentanyl, which is charged in the indictment,” New York City Special Prosecutor Bridget Brennan told WCBS 880 Producer Neil A. Carousso. “And you know, fentanyl is so deadly. It’s viewed to be responsible for what will probably turn out to be a record-breaking number of overdose deaths here in New York City in 2017.”
Quiroz-Zamaroa was charged in connection with a bust that netted 44 pounds of fentanyl at the Umbrella Hotel in the Bronx on June 19 of last year, and on Central Park West on Aug. 4 of last year, prosecutors said.
He received about $22,500 from an undercover officer through a Western Union wire transfer, and came to New York City on Nov. 27 of last year to collect more money from the undercover officer, prosecutors said. But agents tracked Quiroz-Zamora’s movements as he took a circuitous route from Texas to Connecticut by plane, down to Delaware, and then to New York on an Amtrak train, prosecutors said.
Quiroz-Zamora was arrested at Penn Station on Nov. 27 and was originally charged in a complaint in Manhattan Criminal Court. He has been in custody since Nov. 29.
Prosecutors said they also busted a stash house on Central Park West at 105th Street, which was receiving the drugs that were being supplied by the defendants.
“What we found there was it was basically a packaging location; that the people inside that location were packaging many, many thousands of little glassines that were being filled with fentanyl or heroin, and some kind of other substance, and then ultimately, the stuff was headed for street distribution, and that was in a lovely Central Park West apartment with many other people living inside, and when you think about it, it’s a very dangerous situation,” Brennan said.
Five other defendants were also charged in the indictment. Prosecutors alleged that Carlos Ramirez, 27, of Colorado, was caught in a bust with an undercover officer; Jesus Perez-Cabral, 20, maintained the Central Park West drug stash along with Johnny Beltrez, 33; David Rodriguez, 32, was seen carrying suspected narcotics into a car outside the Central Park West building; and Richard Rodriguez, 43, was an Uber driver who drove off with the drugs.
Brennan emphasized that her office is cracking down on fentanyl, with overdoses having reached an all-time high of 1,400 deaths in 2017. Seizures also spiked by a factor of more than 12, from 35 pounds in 2016 to 491 in 2017.
Brennan explained that fentanyl is about 50 times more potent than heroin, and is also cheaper to wholesalers – making dealing in it an attractive proposition for drug traffickers.
"Because it’s a synthetic drug, it’s probably a tenth of the cost of heroin. And so, what we are seeing is that the cartel is sending to the U.S. fentanyl in place of heroin sometimes, or it’s sending up a load that mixes fentanyl with heroin. Heroin being much more expensive, the fentanyl allows them to make a whole lot more money, since when the buyers are buying the little packages in the street, they don’t know whether it contains fentanyl or heroin – it could be either – but they’re going to be paying the same price regardless,” Brennan said. “So it really enhances their ability to make a buck.”
Brennan emphasized that millions could have been killed with the amount of fentanyl the drug traffickers brought to the city.
“Millions, I mean, if they were people who were not tolerant of opioids; who hadn’t been using for some time, it would kill many, many people, because the amount of fentanyl which would kill someone who is not accustomed to any kind of opioid really would fit on the tip of your little finger, so think about it – we seized 400-plus pounds; nearly 500 pounds,” she said. “Think of how much damage that would do.”
Brennan added that her office will be going after everyone in the chain of distribution of such dangerous drugs, but will not stop until finding and prosecuting the top suppliers. She emphasized how dangerous – and how disturbingly commonplace – fentanyl has become.
“Fentanyl is now being mixed in with cocaine. It’s being pressed into counterfeit pills. And so anything on our city’s black market could be tainted with this stuff, and it could kill you. So people have to be very, very careful,” she said. “I think prevention messages are very important. I think people need to become educated and recognize that this stuff can’t be played with.”
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Hundreds of thousands gathered across the country to demand gun reform.
Listen back to our coverage of the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, D.C. and here at home:
CBS Correspondent Bill Rehkopf reports from Washington, D.C. where Parkland survivors take the stage and speak out on gun reform:
CBS Correspondent Bill Rehkopf reports on the March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C., where thousands gathered against gun violence:
WCBS Reporter John Metaxas walks alongside crowds of demonstrators who are calling for gun reform at New York City's March For Our Lives:
WCBS Reporter Ethan Harp speaks with the organizer of New York City's March For Our Lives:
WCBS Reporter Ethan Harp listens to Governor Cuomo speak on gun reform at New York City's March For Our Lives:
CBS Correspondent Bill Rehkopf reports from Washington, D.C. where the March For Our Lives has brought massive crowds calling for an end to gun violence:
CBS Correspondent Don Dahler talks gun laws, the possibilty for reform and the place of the Second Amendment in history:
WCBS Reporter Ethan Harp covers New York City's March For Our Lives where student protesters are calling for gun control following the Parkland massacre:
WCBS Reporter Ethan Harp meets demonstrators at New York City's March For Our Lives on Saturday, March 24:
CBS Correspondent Bill Rehkopf reports from Washington, D.C. where the protesters are demanding gun control at the March For Our Lives:
WCBS Reporter Ethan Harp speaks to Long Island high schoolers who are rallying for gun reform at New York City's March For Our Lives on Satuday, March 24th:
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) joins WCBS Newsradio 880 Anchor Cheryl Simone live as "March for Our Lives" protesters gather around the nation to call for gun control measures. Congressman King says it shouldn't be a Democrat vs. Republican issue or a "gun or anti-gun issue."
Neil A. Carousso produced WCBS Newsradio 880’s breaking news coverage of the nationwide “March for Our Lives” protest on Saturday, March 24, 2018. All live interviews and content were produced, written and booked by Neil A. Carousso.
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- This week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced $22 million more will go to fight opioid overdoses in New York City.
That brings total funding for the HealingNYC program, which was estabished last March, to $60 million.
"We are expanding things that are working and we are also adding some new interventions," New York City Health and Human Services Deputy Mayor Dr. Herminia Palacio tells WCBS Newsradio 880 Producer Neil A. Carousso. "This is a complex problem and as we learn things we're adding things to help address it."
City officials say more New Yorkers die from drug overdoses than suicides, homicides and car crashes combined.
Palacio says HealingNYC aims to reduce opioid overdose deaths 35 percent by 2022.
"We're starting to see a flattening across the city, from 2015 to 2016 we saw a very rapid increase in the number of opioid deaths by about 50 percent -- this increase was largely related to the rapid introduction of fentanyl into the drug supply system and after we initiated HealingNYC we're very optimistic that we've seen a flattening," Palacio said. "The increase from 2016 to 2017 was only about 5 percent so we still have much, much work to do but we are hopeful that some of our work is really starting to get some traction."
The next step is more access to naloxone, the life-saving drug that opens receptors in the brain that close when someone uses a drug like heroin. People stop breathing when the brain's receptors close.
The city Health Department is visiting independent pharmacies throughout the five boroughs over the next month to encourage them to offer naloxone, also known as narcan.
"We have already distributed 100,000 naloxone kits through HealingNYC," Palacio said. "We have good partnerships with many of the chain pharmacies but in New York City, especially in the boroughs, there's many independent pharmacies that are still very vibrant parts of the communitiy and through this next initiative the Department of Health is working with approximately 800 independent pharmacies to make sure that they're aware of the commissioner's order to make sure that they feel comfortable giving naloxone to people who seek it without a prescription."
Palacio says the goal of this HealingNYC initiative is to put the life-saving drug in the hands of regular people who can save a life before medics can get to the person.
"So that people can protect themselves, protect their friends, protect their family members. We can't get you to treatment if you suffered a fatal overdose," Palacio said. "So this is really about saving a life."
Individuals seeking support or treatment for themselves or their loved ones can contact NYC Well by calling 1-888-NYC-WELL, texting “WELL” to 65173 or going to nyc.gov/nycwell.
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The IRS has released its updated 2018 list of the top 12 or "dirty dozen" tax scams.
Will Cheung, assistant special agent at the Internal Revenue Service New York Field Office, recently told WCBS Newsradio 880 Producer Neil A. Carousso how to protect your personal information when it has become increasingly difficult.
'Dirty Dozen' List Of Tax Scams For 2018
Among the scams to watch out for this year are phone scams, phishing schemes, identity theft, fake charities, and false income.
Phone scams are especially common, with people getting calls from someone purporting to represent the IRS and sometimes threatening taxpayers with police arrest, deportation, or license revocation.
“The thing is we do call people, but we will never threaten somebody, and we will never demand payment. So how these scams work is you get an unsolicited call from a person purporting to be an IRS official, and they demand money, and they want you to pay them right away, and they have this sense of urgency to get you to pay,” Cheung said.
Cheung noted that the first attempt to contact someone will be by postal mail.
“Our first contact will usually be by IRS notice, so it will be sent to your mailing address that you have on file with the IRS,” he said.
If people have mistakes on their returns, they should call the IRS themselves rather than taking a call from someone claiming to represent the organization. Scammers can even manipulate phone numbers on caller ID to make it appear as if the call is from the IRS – a practice called spoofing.
“A lot of these scammers are very tech savvy, so they’re able to do this, and to make it look like it’s really coming from the IRS,” Cheung said. “But again, be wary of these phone calls that you get. I mean, most people know, but you know, even though most people know, there are a percentage of people who don’t know. For example, since October 2013, there’s been 12,716 victims that paid over $63 million as a result of these scams.”
Another common scam involves people posing as charities and taking advantage of the fact that people might want a tax deduction based on giving to a charity. Cheung reminds the public never to give out personal information – especially over the phone.
“There is a list of charities that we recognize. I would say it’s probably a good practice not to give donations to somebody who calls you over the phone. I mean, there may be charities that are going to solicit you over the phone, but I would not give it over to them over the phone,” Cheung said. “I mean, if you are interested in donating to that charity, so, the first thing you should do is probably look them up and see if they are an official 501(c)(3) charity.”
At that point, anyone who wants to donate is advised to do so through the charity’s website rather than over the phone, he said.
“There’s too many people trying to take advantage of maybe, like, the elderly, or somebody who wants to do the right thing, but over the phone, it’s just too common right now,” Cheung said, “so I wouldn’t do it over the phone.”
Meanwhile, identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the U.S., and the IRS says it has made significant progress combating tax return identity theft. But the problem remains severe enough to watch out for.
“Right now, because there’s so much information out there and there’s so many data breaches, people are selling your information – like your Social Security number – on the dark web,” Cheung said. “So people can get your Social Security number and file a tax return, and they would often do it early in the filing season. So when you actually go to file your actual return, that’s when you find out somebody already filed a return in your name when your return gets rejected, because there’s already been a return filed.”
Cheung said such identity theft practices remain a major problem at the IRS, but it is not as big of a problem as it was back in 2015, when there were 677,000 reports of identity theft. In 2016, it went down to 400,000, and in 2017, it dropped to 242,000.
“But that’s still affecting a lot of people, so my advice is really, you have to be careful how you store your personal information,” Cheung said.
He advised that people should carry their Social Security cards in their wallets, and should treat their Social Security numbers as if they were cash.
“That’s exactly what it is for somebody who gets their hands on your Social Security number, because they could sell it for cash, and they could try to open credit cards under your name. They could file a tax return under your name and get as refund,” he said.
Cheung said people also need to recognize phishing emails when they come in.
“If you get an email, and you don’t know where that email is coming from, don’t click on any attachments or click on the links,” Cheung said. “You should just delete that email.”
Cheung said identity thieves can wreak havoc in particular if they get their hands on a Social Security number and a date of birth.
“I think people have to realize certain information is very valuable to the criminal, and one of the most important pieces of information that you should keep secure is your Social Security number and your date of birth,” he said. “If they get those two items, they have so much information on you, and they can go through social media. So let’s say you like to post on social media. They could get your address where you’re posting from; where you like to visit. So you know, I would just be careful mainly with those two items – your Social Security number and your date of birth.”
Cheung advised that people should look at their credit reports, which everyone is allowed to do annually for free. If someone does become the victim of identity theft, Cheung advised that people should notify the Federal Trade Commission at identitytheft.gov, set up a fraud alert with the credit bureaus, and contact financial institutions to close any fraudulent accounts.
Those who have a tax return fraudulently filed in their name might get an IRS notice, and still must respond to it.
“You can call the number that’s provided in that notice, and then the IRS has a form 14039 – it’s an identity theft affidavit,” he said.
If someone has already had a tax return fraudulently filed in their name and their real return gets reject, Cheung advised that even though the victim cannot file electronically again, they can still file a paper return and attach the identity theft affidavit.
Cheung also weighed in on tax preparation. A couple of years ago, the IRS reported that 90 percent of taxpayers seek help in preparing their returns, and the tax law has become more complicated since then.
“I don’t know the numbers, but I know a lot of people do rely on a tax preparer to prepare their tax returns, because they don’t understand everything that they need to do, and they want to make sure they have a professional help them,” he said. “There’s also tax software, a lot of people do that… tax software will ask you all these questions, and I know they’ve been advertising on television how easy it is to use the tax software.”
For those specifically looking for a return preparer, Cheung had some advice.
“I would say avoid those fly-by-night preparers, like a preparer that just popped up and he’s just preparing for the first time, because they might not be there next year in case you get audited. They won’t be there to help you,” Cheung said. “You should also avoid preparers who are going to guarantee that they could give you a larger refund than other preparers, because basically, if your tax returns are prepared correctly, any preparer should arrive at a very similar number.”
Also to be avoided are preparers who charge a fee based on the amount of the refund the taxpayer will receive, Cheung said.
Preparers should also be asked if they have an IRS tax identification number, and should sign and identify themselves as preparers, Cheung said.
When a taxpayer receives a return back from a preparer, they should check their names, Social Security numbers, and all the other information, “because ultimately, if there is false identification on that tax return, you are going to be responsible for it.”
NYPD Support Group Raises Awarness, Fights Stigmas During Developmental Disabilities Month
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- March is Developmental Disabilities Month, and the NYPD is out to raise awareness.
NYPD Officer Vincent Tieniber of the Transit K9 Unit has an 11-year-old daughter, Hailey, with cerebral palsy. He and several other officers run an organization that connects police with the community affected by special needs – and he is also fighting to defeat stereotypes and stigmas about those with disabilities.
“My daughter, she’s 11 years old. She was born with cerebral palsy. Throughout her life, she’s been to a lot of therapies to get her to where she is today, where she’s a thriving young girl; to interact with the rest of the community,” Tieniber told WCBS 880 Producer Neil A. Carousso. “She looks like a typical child. She goes through her daily regimen where some days are better than others. But we’ve had a great support group I have within my command, as well as my family members, things go very well on a daily basis.”
Tieniber and several other officers run a support group called NYPD C.A.R.E.S. – Cops for Autism-Related Education Services. He said the group meets monthly at the Police Academy, “and we talk to each other and give us what each other needs to help our everyday lives as police officers, as well as parents, for those kids who have special needs and need our help.
“And we also interact every once in a while with the community, and take our police officer hat off, and talk to other members of the community as parents, and see and talk to them, and it helps a lot for a parent by talking to another parent who goes through their everyday struggles, to understand that they’re not alone,” Tieniber said.
He explained that the general public needs to know that when it comes to a person with special needs, you can’t judge a book by its cover.
"If a child has a rough day – in my daughter’s case – just the way she looks typical, and sometimes she does things that not a typical child would do. Instead of staring at that kid, you know, maybe ask that individual if they need help, and maybe speak to the parents, ‘Do you need help or anything?’ or, ‘Can we help you?’” Tieniber said. “It goes more in the long range if we can help each other instead of putting each other out there and, you know, ‘Oh, that’s his problem not mine.’ You know, we help bring more younger adults together if we help them instead of dividing them.”
He said people should help each other, and step in and offer help if they see someone struggling.
“Give them a hug, or just say hi to them. As a special needs child… they just want to be like everybody else. They want to be included in anything,” Tieniber said. “Just say hi to them, and most of the time you’ll get a big smile. They want to interact with the community. So as a community, we should all get together and help each other.”
NYPD C.A.R.E.S. is focusing all month on members of the NYPD and within the communities they serve wo are affected by a disability, diagnosis or illness.
Manhattan Certified Financial Planner on Tariffs Affecting Consumers and How to Save Money
New York (WCBS 880) — David Mendels, Certified Financial Planner at Creative Financial Concepts, LLC in New York City says tariffs could hurt consumers, especially if it leads to a trade war. Mendels concedes it could create jobs in the rust belt. In an interview with WCBS Newsradio 880 Producer Neil A. Carousso, Mendels advises on how people should plan for their financial future.
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Saturday is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
It promotes safe sex and ways to prevent the spread of the virus.
WCBS Newsradio 880 Preducer Neil A. Carousso spoke with Stephane Howze, senior vice president of New York City-based healthcare nonprofit Amida Care, which specializes in HIV treatment for people in under-served communities.
She says with new treatments available, such as PrEP, education is key to prevent the spread of the sexually transmitted disease.
She stresses pre-exposure prophylaxis, daily medication to prevent HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout one's body, would lead to the reduction of new HIV cases.
"If we're able to do more education in those communities about the use of PrEP and normalize it, that you can take control of your sexual health by using PrEP or learning about PrEP or having your provider educated about PrEP that they can speak to you about it," Howze said. "I think that's one way that we would be able to help with the reduction of new HIV cases."
"We can be engaging as health care providers, we can be open and thoughtful as insurers, and make sure that we are able to provide a network of providers that are sensitive and competent in serving their needs," Howze added.
Howze also said doctors should offer HIV tests to their patients.
"You go to your primary care provider you should be getting offered an HIV test," Howze said. "If we start there with knowing your status and then using some of these more high-tech solutions I think we'll be able to put a real dent in new infections."
Four years ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his goal to reduce the number of infections in New York State to 750 from an estimated 3,000 by 2020.
Low Voter Turnout Expected in New York, Virtual Democrat Monopoly
By Neil A. Carousso
It's Election Day, but you may not be aware.
Voting turnout in the 2013 New York City election was a record low 23 percent. A mere 14 percent of voters showed up for the September primary.
NYC VOTES: TERRORISM AND TRANSPORTATION AMONG IMPORTANT ISSUES FOR VOTERS, CANIDATES
Compound this with Comptroller Scott M. Stringer's recent audit showing problems at 90 percent of 156 polling sites examined.
"What we found was just outrageous," Comptroller Stringer said, citing, "People turned away at the polls, poll workers not realizing how they can get people to vote, ballots were voided."
Throughout New York State, only about 15 races of 213 legislative seats are competitive in any given year. Comptroller Stringer aims to increase voter participation.
Republicans do not hold any seats in Manhattan. Besides Staten Island and parts of the State, one party holds a virtual monopoly of each district.
The polls in New York City are open until 9 PM.
NYC COMPTROLLER STRINGER AND CANDIDATE REV. FAULKNER VIE FOR CFO JOBFeatured Image: New York Daily News Photo.
Bo Dietl on Solving New York's Opioid Demand Problem
By Neil A. Carousso
Drug overdose deaths, once rare, are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, surpassing peak annual deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents and HIV infection. It kills 100 people a day.
Bo Dietl, Independent New York City Mayoral Candidate and retired New York Police Department detective told this reporter one step is to remove so-called sanctuary city status to stem the supply of opioids coming in via illegal immigrant smuggling. An imperative, Dietl said, is to solve the demand for opioids.
"We got to hit this 3 ways: Enforcement, we got to send these son of a guns to jail for the rest of their lives," Dietl said of drug dealing. " "Number 2 is education. Number 3 is treatment."
Over the last two decades, as prescriptions for opioids began to soar, rates of addictions and overdose deaths increased in parallel.
President Donald J. Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency on October 26.
WATCH: Bo Dietl Opens Up about NYC Mayoral Race, His Friendship with President Trump and More in Rare Substantive Video Interview
U.S. Air Force Veteran and Rape Survivor Kyung Jones Shares Her Emotional Story and Explains Why She Supports Donald Trump
By Neil A. Carousso
Kyung "Grace" Jones was sexually assaulted by her father at 18-years-old, and recently, alleges was drugged and raped at a Texas bar. A strong-willed American patriot, Grace is determined to get justice and help other sexual assault and rape victims through personal mentoring and Congressional legislation.
On episode 59 of "The Neil A. Carousso Show Podcast," Grace chats with this host for an emotional interview.
She is a Korean-American United States Air Force Veteran who bravely fought for our country for 9 years, protecting our nation's security, freedom and core American values.
Grace discusses how she overcame her adversity, her inspiration to other sexual assault victims, sexual assault legislation, veterans health, the U.S. Military, and why she vehemently supports President Donald Trump and the Commander-In-Chief's policies.
Listen to the roughly hour-long interview, part of the 59th episode of "The Neil A. Carousso Show Podcast," by clicking the "play" button on the embedded SoundCloud player above.
"The Neil A. Carousso Show Podcast" is recorded and uploaded weekdays. One can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and listen on this site. Featured Image from Kyung Jones's Instagram page.