by Tom Pelham Governor Shumlin’s recent budget speech is a vain attempt to craft a legacy of fiscal responsibility. But, it’s too late for that; the damage is done to both Vermont’s fiscal standing and the governor’s legacy. Some housekeeping is in order. Governor Shumlin points a finger at former Governor Douglas for the state’s fiscal woes; but state fiscal records reveal otherwise. Governor Douglas vetoed the fiscal 2010 budget not because it spent too little, but because it spent too much. It was Senate President Pro Tempore Shumlin and House Speaker Smith who in June 2009 lead the veto override and henceforth set Vermont on its current unsustainable spending trajectory.Governor Shumlin’ speech didn’t mention the $938 million in one-time federal stimulus funds Vermont received through fiscal 2011. Shumlin used these funds to both supplant general funds eroded by the Great Recession and grow base spending until these funds ran out in 2012. Then, Governor Shumlin, not Governor Douglas, raided $23 million from the education fund to prop up his unsustainable spending trend line.About taxes – Governor Shumlin says, “This will be my sixth budget that does not increase income, sales, or rooms and meals tax rates.” Tax rates, maybe; but taxes, certainly not. Over the past 6 years income taxes (capital gains and deduction restrictions), sales taxes (sugary drinks), rooms and meals (vending machines), gas taxes, cigarette taxes, health insurance claims taxes, property taxes, and numerous fees, among others, have all increased by the Governor’s actions. For fiscal 2017, the Governor can say he’s not raising “income, sales, or rooms and meals tax rates” while increasing fees on mutual funds and new taxes on doctors and dentists. And so it goes.Bottom line, since 2010 general fund and state fund spending generally, exclusive of federal funds, have grown at the respective rates of 5.3% and 5.2%, inclusive of the 2016 budget adjustment now before the legislature. In a Vermont economy experiencing 2 to 3 percent growth, the Governor’s (and legislature’s) aggressive spending of state taxpayer dollars drives the now annual fiscal hazards of budget gaps and higher taxes.Each year there are two major budget bills before the legislature known as the Big Bill and the BAA (short for Budget Adjustment). The Big Bill covers the coming fiscal year while the BAA makes adjustments to the current fiscal year. When the legislature left Montpelier last year, they approved and the Governor signed the 2016 Big Bill with year-over-year general fund increases of 4.2 percent and all state fund increases of 3.8 percent. But now, with the 2016 BAA currently before the legislature more spending is proposed. The result, if approved, will be year-over-year increases of 5.1 percent and 5 percent respectively.The Governor’s 2017 budget proposal is a 4.1 percent and 3.2 percent general fund increase over the 2016 Big Bill and 2016 BAA respectively. Relative to all state funds, the increases are 4.0 percent and 2.8 percent respectively. As is happening this year, these increases may rise next year with the 2017 BAA; but that will be next Governor’s worry. The proposed increases again exceed underlying economic growth and require $13.2 million in higher mutual fund fees and $17 million in new taxes on doctors and dentists.More of the Governor’s 2017 budget proposal will be uncovered as the legislative process unfolds, but interesting details already stand out. For example, the Governor’s proposed general fund increase totals $45 million. Of this, he directs $12.3 million or 27 percent of these new general funds to the Teachers’ Pension and Retired Teachers Health Care funds, now totaling $101 million – an amount greater than the $83.3 million general funds proposed for Vermont’s institutions of higher education. During Governor Shumlin’s term, the funding ratio of the Teachers’ Pension fund has dropped from 66.5 percent to 58.6 percent; not a great legacy and certainly a red flag to bond rating agencies. It must be noted, however, that the core cost drivers for teacher retirement benefits are not driven by state decisions, but by the salary and benefit contracts between local school boards and the NEA. While the Governor, legislators and Secretary of Education lament the excessive staffing in Vermont’s schools, they remain silent and paralyzed about the general fund bankrolling the retirement benefits driven by Vermont’s lowest-in the-nation pupil to teacher ratio of less than 10 to 1. This costly conflict between fiscal and educational policies and politics now consumes a whopping 27 percent of all new general funds, inclusive of new revenues from fees on mutual funds. With budget pressures ranging from higher education to human services, it’s unfortunate that state house leaders won’t resolve these conflicting and costly policy tensions.This commentary is by Tom Pelham, formerly finance commissioner in the Dean administration, tax commissioner in the Douglas administration, a state representative elected as an independent and who served on the Appropriations Committee, and now a co-founder of Campaign for Vermont(link is external).
Photo by Robert Gill Winter term will begin remotely, with residential students returning in mid-January.by Aimee Minbiole, Dartmouth With COVID-19 cases increasing across the country, including in Grafton County, the campus residential move-in for the Dartmouth College undergraduate winter term will be delayed, Provost Joseph Helble(link is external) said Monday in a message to the community. Winter-term classes will begin as planned, on Jan. 7, and will initially be held remotely for all undergraduates.Students currently scheduled to move in on Jan. 5 will shift to Jan. 16, and students scheduled to move in on Jan. 6 will shift to Jan. 17. Additional details were provided today to students and families in an email from Kathryn Lively(link is external), dean of the College.Helble acknowledged that the change was disappointing. “We are sorry for the additional effort and challenge this will generate for many families,” he wrote. Yet, “given the surging rate of virus transmission, making room between the holiday break and the return to campus has become essential for navigating the winter residential term successfully.”Helble also noted Dartmouth’s plan to create more social opportunities for students during the coming term and thanked the Dartmouth community for its continuing patience and perseverance during the pandemic.Taking simple yet critical measures such as masking, regular testing, and physical distancing has enabled the campus to keep the number of COVID-19 infections low, protect the health of the local community, and ensure that Dartmouth’s campus facilities could stay open without interruption throughout fall term, he wrote.However, community transmission through November grew more rapidly and reached “far higher levels” than Dartmouth had anticipated, a trend that is expected to continue, he wrote. “Unfortunately, we have all observed increasing COVID-19 case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths across the country over the past several weeks, and national and state modeling predict a continued increase in virus transmission rates into the new year—including locally—exacerbated by a surge resulting from the upcoming holiday season.”New Winter Term Arrival Dates, Quarantine RequirementsIn late October, Dartmouth announced that winter term would start on Jan. 7.At that time, the country was seeing approximately 55,000 new COVID-19 cases daily, and the active caseload in Grafton County was fewer than 400 cases per million people, Helble wrote. Now, more than 200,000 new cases are being diagnosed nationally each day, the active case count in Grafton County has reached more than 2,100 per million people, and the “full impact of an anticipated post-Thanksgiving surge is expected to materialize this week.”Based on the increase in COVID-19 cases following the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday in October, and the growing number of cases in Grafton County, Dartmouth needed to plan for a similar post-holiday surge in virus transmission, Helble wrote. “For the health of our campus and Upper Valley communities, we need to provide additional separation between the holidays and the return to campus residential living.”At-home pre-arrival tests for all returning undergraduate students will be conducted by Jan. 11 for students returning on Jan. 16, and by Jan. 12 for those returning on Jan. 17. All undergraduates living off campus are strongly encouraged to delay their return to the region until Jan. 16 or 17. The changes will not affect graduate or professional students.All students will be tested on the day they arrive, whether are living on campus, living locally and learning remotely, or living locally on a leave-term. As previously announced, beginning in January, testing frequency will increase to twice per week for all students and for all employees who are regularly working on campus.In a shift from fall-term operations, and in accordance with the latest state guidance, students will now be eligible to be released from quarantine after eight days if they receive negative COVID-19 tests. With this new guideline in place, most undergraduates will be out of quarantine by Jan. 26. For those classes offering them, in-person meetings will begin on or after Jan. 26.The end of term timing will remain the same, with classes ending on March 10 and exams completed by March 17.While many questions about the coming term will be answered by Lively’s message, Dartmouth has also established an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail), for inquiries. Staff will respond within 24 hours this week to any messages received by 5 p.m. on Dec. 11.Looking AheadAs Dartmouth has navigated the pandemic, it has learned that there is room for improvement, “particularly when it comes to delivering a more social experience for students outside of the classroom,” Helble wrote. “We have heard suggestions from many, and we will announce the first set of adjustments we will make for winter term later this week, both in our Community Conversations webcast(link is external) and subsequent communication.”Helble invited the community to tune in to this month’s webcast, at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9, when he and his guests—Lively and COVID-19 Task Force co-chairs Lisa Adams and Josh Keniston—will speak more about Dartmouth’s winter-term operations.Looking ahead, he said Dartmouth has been “heartened” by the news of the imminent release of purportedly effective vaccines, but cautioned that until they have been widely distributed, the measures that have kept the community healthy must remain in place.”The promise of vaccines provides hope for positive changes in the spring and summer months,” Helble wrote. “Until then, we must remain united and stay the course. “For the latest information on Dartmouth’s response to the pandemic visit the COVID-19 website(link is external).December 07, 2020 Aimee Minbiole can be reached at email@example.com(link is external).
4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jay Kassing Jay Kassing is President of MARQUIS, a Texas based provider of marketing analytics solutions including MCIF/CRM software, MCIF services, profitability, compliance, consulting and direct mail creative/fulfillment. Jay has … Web: www.gomarquis.com Details My goodness…if you expect consistent delivery of service, then of course you are looking at a credit union, square in the face, right? Who better? I mean, really, it is all about the member!Guaranteed!But about this word…”guaranteed”… is it overused? Has it been tarnished so badly by hucksters that no one believes the word means anything anymore? Maybe we’ve been inundated by too many infomercials promising clearer skin, the easiest way to lose weight, the perfect pocket fisherman…”Guaranteed or your money back”… and, because we doubt these ads, the word “guarantee” loses its luster through association.Yet, if anyone could use the word “guaranteed” to prove how they deliver service…it is credit unions.Right?This conversation moves beyond the safety and security of the NCUA backing of accounts held by your friendly neighborhood credit union – accounts that are guaranteed.I believe that the power of “guaranteed” is alive and well. Yet consumers and businesses simply don’t hold the companies that offer a guarantee accountable. I would agree that the meaning has decayed over the years, especially as people and companies don’t honor their word…but how is that the guarantors fault?My belief is that Credit Unions are poised to leverage this word and use it to beat competition over the head, particularly in regards to the power of service and offering a financial relationship that matters. The word “guarantee,” especially when leveraged by a financial institution, has matchless influence in our minds.Am I wrong? Is the word “guaranteed” a goner?As someone who guarantees what he does for credit unions…this conversation matters, to me, to all of us.What do you think?
Email LinkedIn A new study published in Motivation and Emotion suggests that implicit beliefs about the malleability of anxiety — a person’s anxiety mindset — can influence treatment outcomes following psychotherapy.Past evidence has suggested that an individual’s attitudes about mental health are linked to their psychological functioning and may be implicated in how they respond to psychotherapy treatment.Study authors Anthony N. Reffi and Benjamin C. Darnell, who are both clinical psychology doctoral candidates at Northern Illinois University, were interested in examining how a person’s mindset can influence their behavior in meaningful ways. Share Share on Twitter Pinterest “Our university clinic has been collecting mindset data for some time. Seeing all of the data we had, we turned to the literature to see what we could learn and found that mindset may affect treatment outcomes, but also that treatment may affect mindset,” explained Darnell.“This literature got us curious to see how mindset may change by the end of psychotherapy and how it may influence behavior that could interfere with the psychotherapeutic process.”A study was conducted to examine emotion and anxiety mindsets among individuals seeking mental health treatment and to examine the interplay between mindset and symptomology. The sample was comprised of 104 individuals of an average age of 25 who were seeking psychotherapy treatment at a university Psychology Services Center. The individuals were assessed at the time of their first appointment and again at their last session.The treatment plans varied but lasted an average of 135 days and were based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques. Patients’ anxiety mindsets were measured using questions that assessed a growth anxiety mindset (e.g., “Everyone can learn to control their anxiety.”) and a fixed anxiety mindset (e.g., “No matter how hard they try, people can’t really change the anxiety that they have.”). Fixed and growth emotion mindsets were also assessed, as well as the psychological outcomes of symptom distress (anxiety and depression), interpersonal relationships, and functioning within social roles.Interestingly, the data revealed that participants showed stronger growth anxiety mindsets at their final psychotherapy sessions, when compared to their intake appointments. This, the researchers say, offers evidence that mindsets can be changed and that psychotherapy may be one approach to altering a person’s mindset. Emotion mindset, however, showed no significant changes following therapy.“In conjunction with other literature, our study suggests that therapy helps people learn that they have the power to change and manage their anxiety. This shift in thinking may be another positive outcome of psychotherapy that is related to improved mental health and everyday functioning,” Reffi and Darnell told PsyPost.“This is good news for people who may defer seeking help because they think they cannot do anything to change how anxious they feel. However, even though these beliefs may change by the end of treatment, this change does not seem to be a way that therapy works to improve other symptoms (i.e., it is not a mechanism).”Surprisingly, after controlling for possible confounders, growth in anxiety mindset was not found to indirectly affect the relationship between symptoms at the start of treatment and symptoms after treatment. As Reffi and his team point out, this suggests that a change in mindset may not be an effective way to reduce symptoms during psychotherapy.However, participants’ anxiety mindset at their final session was linked to their symptom distress and social role scores. “These results indicate that participants who experience growth in anxiety mindset from the start of treatment to the end show decreased anxiety and depression symptoms (i.e., T2 symptom distress) and fewer problems at work, school, etc. (i.e., T2 social role) after treatment,” Reffi and associates say.The authors speculate that these improved outcomes may have to do with the potential for a growth mindset to improve self-efficacy. “Increasing self-efficacy may facilitate increased engagement both within treatment (resulting in improved symptom distress) and within social roles (resulting in improved functioning within these roles),” the authors relate. Alternatively, they acknowledge that patients who feel better after treatment may be motivated to change their beliefs about the possibility of improving one’s anxiety.“One surprising finding we had was that anxiety mindset may be related to social roles but not social functioning. We hypothesized that this difference may be due to differential relationships between anxiety mindset and context-dependent self-efficacy, but as far as I know these relationships have yet to be explored,” Darnell said.Among limitations, the study did not follow an experimental design and did not include information about the individual diagnoses of patients.The study had four main limitations, the researchers said.“First, this study was not an experiment, so we cannot say anything about causal relationships for sure, such as whether changes in mindset improve mental health, or vice versa,” Reffi and Darnell told PsyPost.“Second, we only had two timepoints, the beginning and end of treatment, so we cannot examine how mindset and outcomes change throughout the course of treatment.”“Third, we did not have data to look at differences between diagnoses, so we do not know if change in anxiety mindset plays more of a mechanistic role in treatment that is anxiety-specific,” the researchers explained.“Finally, we had a small sample size. This means our results may have looked different if we had more data, and our findings do not necessarily apply to a broader group of people.”The authors suggest that future studies should consider the relationship between a given mental health mindset and a specific mental health diagnosis.The study, “Implicit beliefs of emotion and anxiety in psychotherapy”, was authored by Anthony N. Reffi, Benjamin C. Darnell, Sara J. Himmerich, and Karen J. White. Share on Facebook
By JENS GOULDThe New MexicanIn an emotional hearing before hundreds of supporters and detractors, a state Senate panel narrowly passed a high-profile gun bill today that would allow law enforcement to obtain a court order to confiscate guns from people considered dangerous.The Senate Public Affairs committee voted 4-3 along party lines in favor of Senate Bill 5, known as the “Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order Act”.The bill will now be sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee.The legislation is a marquee item on Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s agenda and likely to be one of the most contentious bills heard during the session. If it becomes law, New Mexico would join 17 other states and the District of Columbia that have similar measures, also known as “red-flag” laws.Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, who is co-sponsoring the legislation and is an attorney, invoked last year’s mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart as a reason why the bill should be passed. Rep. Joy Garratt, an Albuquerque Democrat who is co-sponsoring the House version of the bill, suggested the bill would help reduce the risk of violence in schools.“I can’t tell you how scary it is to train kindergarteners on how to do lockdowns and exits,” said Garratt, who is an educator and a coach of elementary school teachers. “This is one tool, only one tool to address individuals who pose an imminent threat.”Twenty sheriffs were on hand to voice opposition to the bill on Tuesday as the head of the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association said 30 of the state’s 33 sheriffs oppose it.“We believe this bill has many constitutional issues, that it violates rights,” Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace told the committee. “As law enforcement officers, we absolutely know this bill has a huge potential for being misused.”Indeed, the bill is quite contentious. Not only are many legislators divided on the issue; so is law enforcement. While most sheriffs oppose it, State Police Chief Tim Johnson and top Albuquerque Police Department officials favor it. If it becomes law, the proposal would allow household members or law enforcement officers to petition a court for an order to disallow a person from having firearms. A judge would require the person to give up their guns for 15 days, an order that could later be extended to one year, if probable cause is found that the person poses a threat to themselves or others. Unlike most hearings of this nature, the meeting took place in the Senate chamber instead of a committee room, with senators on the floor and about 200 members of the public in the gallery.Prior to the hearing, the hallways outside were lined with sheriffs in uniform and other pro-gun advocates, including a man wearing an NRA hat and a woman wearing two buttons that read “Shall not infringe” next to the images of guns. There were about an equal number of supporters, including a large group wearing red shirts representing the nonprofit Moms Demand Action.Firearms were banned from the hearing, as members of the public had their bags searched and were checked with metal detector wands as they entered. Proponents and opponents were then seated on opposite sides of the gallery and given half an hour each to give comments.The bill’s detractors spoke first during the public comment period, including sheriffs, pro-gun advocates, a mayor and even Karen Bedonie, a Navajo woman and candidate for the 3rd Congressional District race.“When they took us on the Long Walk in this very state, when they took us to Fort Sumner, the first thing they did was disarm us,” said Bedonie, referring to the forced deportation of the Diné from their traditional lands to Fort Sumner, where they were interned in the 1860s. “You cannot legislate against evil. All it does is take the rights of good citizens.”Next, it was the supporters’ turn, as the committee heard from Johnson, cabinet secretaries, the deputy chief of the Albuquerque Police Department and students affiliated with the nonprofit New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence.Johnson recalled a recent officer-involved shooting in Albuquerque, saying police may have been able to prevent the incident if they had been able to remove the suspect’s firearms.Proponents, some shedding tears, also recounted personal experiences with gun violence as well as referencing the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Lobbyist Vanessa Alarid told the story of her cousin, who she said was showing signs of depression before killing herself with a firearm around six weeks ago.“If this bill had passed last year, I could have saved her life,” Alarid said.Democrats on the seven-member committee, such as Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, mostly voiced support for the bill before voting in favor of it.“I want to compliment you for taking this on,” the Albuquerque Democrat said. “This is an excellent, excellent opportunity to take guns out of the hands of the very few people in this state who could pose a danger.”Yet the Republican members took issue with many aspects of the bill, including echoing some of the sheriffs’ long-standing contentions that the proposal violates due process.Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, the minority floor leader, said he was concerned the measure would be abused by people who could use it in situations where it’s not warranted, such as in divorce cases. He added that he believed judges would rarely rule in favor of respondents who have had extreme risk orders issued against them.“I can see a judge’s real predicament when someone comes in and says, ‘I am in fear for my life,’” Ingle said. “There’s not a judge in the country who says, ‘Oh no, I think you’re fine.’”“Once they’re passed, I have seen these things be really abused much more than they should be,” Ingle added.Several sheriffs said after the hearing that they intend to continue voicing opposition to the bill at the Roundhouse.“The fight’s still on,” Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton said in an interview. “We’re going to fight this every step of the way.”The legislation is likely to be amended as it moves forward. Cervantes told the panel it “remains a work in progress” and that its sponsors are “open” to changing it. He also noted that the last time he carried gun-related legislation; it was amended 14 times.“I think we’ll break that record this time,” shot back Sen. Craig Brandt, a Rio Rancho Republican.
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We’ve been embroiled in this mess for about two-and-a-half months now. Yet some government officials, health care providers, and hospital and nursing home administrators are still not being fully forthcoming with information that could help reduce the spread of the disease or potentially save lives.That includes data about how and where the disease is being detected and how the disease is affecting specific groups of individuals.Representatives of the Schenectady NAACP earlier this week expressed particular concern that Schenectady County officials weren’t being fully forthcoming with information about the disparities between ethnic and racial groups with regard to the spread of the virus.While the coronavirus has proven to affect all populations and age groups, older citizens and those with diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease and pulmonary issues are particularly vulnerable to its most serious effects.And as a group, African-Americans show a propensity to several of those particular health issues. The disease also disproportionately affects poor, inner-city populations that might have less access to treatment, insurance and preventative health care, and essential workers, who also tend to be poor and minorities.Without information, those in the community who serve these vulnerable populations can’t answer questions from those individuals about how the virus is affecting them and how they can protect themselves better.And without that information, it’s difficult to impress upon them the sense of urgency needed to fully respond and thwart the spread. Categories: Editorial, OpinionWe’re always being told that information is power. Information is power.That usually refers to someone using information to control or manipulate someone else.But in the case of the coronavirus and sharing information with the public — particularly vulnerable communities like African-Americans and other ethnic groups and races — information is the power to save lives.GAZETTE COVID-19 COVERAGEThe Daily Gazette is committed to keeping our community safe and informed and is offering our COVID-19 coverage to you free.Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts.Thank YouAnd it’s vital to our collective health that as many people as possible have as much access to that information as they can get. Widely distributing this information to those who need it most must involve county officials actively reaching out regularly to community representatives, such as members of the NAACP, Clergy Against Hate, religious leaders and other community activists, who can then share that information directly with their constituents.When officials meet to discuss the public response to the virus, these community leaders need to be in the room, not only to receive information, but to offer insight and advice to county and health leaders on how best to reach and assist the communities in need.The outcome of better communication with community groups will be a population that fully understands the impact of this outbreak and has the tools to discourage its spread.In order for us to all be in this together, we all must have the information we need to protect ourselves and one another from the ravages of coronavirus.Without that information, we are powerless to fight it.GAZETTE COVID-19 COVERAGEThe Daily Gazette is committed to keeping our community safe and informed and is offering our COVID-19 coverage to you free.Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts.Thank YouMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Make a game plan for voting. Do it now.EDITORIAL: Don’t repeal bail reform law; Fix it the right wayEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Schenectady homeless assistance program Street Soldiers dealing with surge in needFoss: Schenectady Clergy Against Hate brings people together Sharing more information with these populations requires more than just posting it on a website or telling the newspaper about it or holding regular updates on social media.
Prior to joining Autopart International, Creedon most recently served as vice president and general manager of Sensormatic LLC – North America Sales and Operation, where he was responsible for the strategic direction, operational performance and financial contribution of Tyco Integrated Security’s largest North America vertical. Prior to that, he held various leadership positions with ADT Security Services Inc. and Tyco International (US) Inc. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Creedon will be responsible for growing the company profitably by focusing on the continued execution of the company’s value proposition, which is focused on the professional technician and commercial business. He will continue to leverage the resources and synergies that exist currently between Advance and AI to accelerate their profitability, the company says. Creedon will report to Jim Durkin, senior vice president, commercial business, and will reside in Boston. ROANOKE, Va. — Advance Auto Parts has announced that Michael Creedon will join Autopart International (AI) as president. “Mike is a natural fit with AI’s high energy, people and customer-centered culture. He is a highly engaged leader with a track record of growing profitability by focusing on the customer and delivering a superior service experience,” said Durkin. “Most recently he led Tyco’s Sensormatic subsidiary, after working his way up through the Tyco organization where he began as an analyst. Mike takes a lot of pride in the accomplishments of his team at Sensormatic and I am confident he will lead our Autopart International team to continued success.”
A Montauk man was arrested Friday evening on a misdemeanor charge of drunk driving. It is the third time Anthony Sosinski, 50, has been arrested since 2013 by East Hampton Town police on misdemeanor charges related to driving or boating while intoxicated.He was driving a 1998 Toyota on Flamingo Avenue and he crossed over the double yellow line to pass two cars, according to police. A patrol car’s lights activated, but, the police said, Sosinski kept going, now driving on the shoulder at a slow speed. This continued for several miles, police said, as Sosinski made several turns in the Culloden Shores area, before coming to a stop. The police said he explained not stopping sooner, because he thought it was an ambulance behind him.At headquarters, a breath test to determine the percentage of alcohol in his blood came back with a .16 of one percent reading, twice the .08 number that defines intoxication.Sosinski, the captain of the Anna Mary, a lobster boat which docks in Montauk, is best known for his successful effort to help rescue his lifelong friend, John Aldridge, who was lost at sea off Montauk Point overnight on July 24, 2013. Aldridge had fallen off the boat during the night, while Sosinski was sleeping below. A massive rescue operation was undertaken by the Coast Guard, working with the fishing community. He was eventually rescued by a Coast Guard crew from Connecticut.The story of the rescue garnered national attention, and became a New York Times Sunday Magazine article, written by Paul Tough. The rights to the life story of Sosinski and Aldridge, along with The Times Magazine article were then purchased by Harvey Weinstein’s The Weinstein Company. A film was scheduled to be written by Jeff Pope. The names Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were floated as names to play the two.The two co-authored a book by the same name, released by Weinstein’s publishing house in the spring of last year. The book received good reviews.Sosinski’s first arrest was after the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Montauk. He was charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. That case was eventually plea bargained down to a simple violation, driving with ability impaired.In 2015, Sosinski took the Anna Mary out, allegedly after leaving a bar. An anonymous caller contacted either East Hampton Town police or the Coast Guard, reporting the Anna Mary was being operated in a reckless manner. The Coast Guard dispatched a 47-foot motor lifeboat with a boarding team. They caught up with the Anna Mary about a mile west of Montauk Point and boarded it.The Coast Guard alleged that Sosinski was “belligerent” and “non-compliant.”He was restrained for officer safety, the Coast Guard said, and brought back to shore, where he was placed under arrest by town police on a misdemeanor charge of boating while intoxicated, as well as a charge of reckless operation of a vessel.He pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge.Following his latest arrest, he was brought to East Hampton Town Justice Court to be arraigned Saturday morning. “So, we meet again,” East Hampton Town Justice Lisa Rana said to Sosinski when he was brought before her in handcuffs. She presided over his prior DWI case, though not over the BWI case. “I thought the last time I saw you was going to be the last time.”“Yes, your honor,” Sosinski said.She set bail at $2500 and gave a warning: “You can ill-afford to get arrested for anything else . . .You better be squeaky clean.”Bail was posted at police headquarters.Almost exactly 24 hours earlier, Weinstein, who maintained a residence in Amagansett for many years, was brought in handcuffs before a judge in Lower Manhattan. He was charged with three felonies: first degree rape, third degree rape, and committing a criminal sex act in the first degree. According to The New York Times, the latter charge stemmed from an alleged incident in 2004.The rape charges stem from an encounter with an unidentified woman in 2013 at the Doubletree Metropolitan Hotel, according to the New York Police Department.Benjamin Brafman, his attorney, said Weinstein will be cleared of all charges. He called the charges “constitutionally flawed and factually unsubstantiated,” according to The Times. Weinstein is free on $1 million firstname.lastname@example.org Share
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