Voices in Focus: a Safety Crackdown on Food Deliverymen

Among our stories today from New York City’s ethnic and community press: a crackdown on the city’s deliverymen; a call to stand up for voting rights; a vigil to save Alianza Dominicana; profiles of Ponzi scheme victims; and a New Jersey middle school makes Korean classes mandatory.

The Department of Transportation is cracking down on speedy deliverymen. (James Fanelli via DNAinfo)

* The Department of Transportation wants New York City’s restaurant delivery workers to obey traffic rules — even if that means your pizza takes a few more minutes to arrive. Restaurants have been asked to require that their riders take safety precautions and to factor traffic into delivery times, DNAinfo reports. The DOT says cyclists risk stiff fines if they don’t stop for red lights.

Agents from the DOT’s Highway Inspection and Quality Assurance Division will fan out in Manhattan and eventually throughout the city, ensuring food-delivery cyclists wear required safety gear, have proper identification and follow traffic rules.

That means customers ordering in should summon extra patience since the normally speedy commercial cyclists will face $100 to $300 fines if they fly through stop signs or go the wrong direction on one-way streets.

* Voter ID efforts are voter suppression by another name, writes Benjamin Todd Jealous in an op-ed for the Amsterdam News. Moneyed interests, he says, are trying to skew the election in favor of the presumed Republican challenger.

In 2008, Barack Obama won Pennsylvania by a healthy margin of 620,478 votes. This year, the state passed a restrictive photo ID law, currently under litigation, that would threaten the voting rights of 758,000 voters. Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai betrayed the motivation behind the law in June when he told a group of his colleagues that the voter ID law “is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

Miriam Mejía, once the Deputy Director of Alianza Dominicana, is maintaining a daily vigil to save the organization. (Robin Elisabeth Kilmer via Manhattan Times)

* Every day Miriam Mejía, the former Deputy Director of Alianza Dominicana, visits her old workplace at 530 W. 166th St. Manhattan Times has an update on the embattled and financially-strapped Washington Heights nonprofit, which Voices of NY has been keeping an eye on.

A group of ten to 15 supporters join her on a regular basis.

The group, which calls itself “Friends of Alianza Dominicana,” formed a week ago and has been collecting signatures to petition Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The petition calls on the Attorney General to halt what organizers believe is an ongoing probe; they say the office of the Attorney General has not issued a public statement that it is not currently conducting any investigations.

“Eric Schneiderman’s investigation was a political attack against Alianza,” said Mejía.

* Back in February, Voices of NY translated some excellent work by Queens Latino and El Diario focusing on a Ponzi scheme in Rego Park, Queens affecting mostly Hispanics. Last week the New York Times reported on the ruse, which cheated some Queens residents out of their life savings, over $10 million in total funds.

* In Ridgefield, N.J., the school district will make Korean language classes mandatory for middle schoolers at one school, the Korea Times reports. A translated excerpt follows below.

Following the Palisades Park School District last year, the Ridgefield district opened Korean language classes and adopted Korean  as a required language course, so more than 120 students in the 6th grade of Slocum Skewes School are required to take it.

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