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Attempts to reach out to homeless MTA failed, the inspector general found



Attempts to reach out to homeless MTA failed, the inspector general found

The multi-million-dollar MTA effort to reduce the homeless population on the city’s subway is a costly effort, the agency supervisor said in a damning new report.

Complaints about homelessness in the system surged after last year’s agency changed its annual $ 5 million effort to eject unprotected from subway trains and to shelters – while train delays related to homelessness continued quickly, the office of MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny found.

The “very expensive” and “minimally effective” program spends at least $ 2.6 million in overtime above contact – but a team of 10 MTA police and social workers from the Bowery Citizens Committee contractor lure only three transients from the system per station per night, the report said that.

“At night, OIG staff observed the program, dozens of people who appeared to be homeless stayed on the train for every 1 who received service,” IG staff wrote.

Apart from the MTA “good faith” program, delays related to homeless individuals continue their upward trajectory since the first half of 2019, IG reported. Incidents involving homelessness caused 100 delays per month in January and February.

Drivers’ complaints about homelessness, meanwhile, jumped in August after months of decline, IG said. In February, the last month of data available, MTA received 550 complaints – almost double that of February 2019.

Teams began trying to persuade homeless people out of the system at the tip stations last summer after Governor Cuomo declared their presence in transit “terrible” and “the worst ever.”

But the effort was mainly overcome by MTA’s limited ability to force homeless people out of trains and a large network of community failures that have increased homelessness, the IG office concluded.

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The IG Office launched an investigation after auditors from the state’s Financial Supervisory Office Tom DiNapoli accused BRC workers of spending only 26 percent of their time conducting outreach directly to homeless individuals – half of the amount of time required by the company’s $ 5 million contract.

Pokorny himself went to inspect the situation at the Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station last year and sent a scathing letter to the agency saying he “saw people searching for food in trash cans just steps from the door of the BRC Office and homeless people lying on the ground directly outside the BRC Office . “

In the end, the IG investigation concluded that the BRC could explain its existence.

However, MTA failed in several ways to monitor the program and did not have a clear understanding of what would happen to the homeless if they received assistance from the BRC.

Outreach providers who note homeless people have reached “placement” if they receive a variety of services – even services that might get them back on the subway soon, the IG found.

MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny at the board meeting in 2019.
MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny at the board meeting in 2019.Gregory P. Mango

The entire program was effectively suspended in May, when MTA took the unprecedented step of shutting down the system every night to clean up the homeless and clean the train in the middle of a coronavirus. The agency also instituted new rules that forbade roaming the stations.

Itang recommended MTA to look closely at whether it is worth “spending millions every year” on this scheme when the subway is fully reopened – and needs to provide better oversight if so, the report said.

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MTA accepts the findings of the IG and promises change.

“We agree that in-depth discussions must take place with partner agencies before enforcement / outreach programs are established – to clarify roles, set performance metrics, set clear goals and establish responsibilities for collecting and reporting accurate data on any program impacts,” Sarah writes Feinberg, interim president of the City of New York Transit.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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