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South Queens Speaks: S. Queens Dems honor man who helped elder

According to Democratic District Leader Frank Gulliscio, chairman of the South Queens Democratic Club, Howard Beach resident Anthony Stabile, Bruno's neighbor of 30 years, helped save the elderly man's house also from being ripped off by Mark's thievery."My neighbor came to me and he was broke and his bank accounts were drained of thousands of dollars over an 18-month period, which escalated this past October," said Stabile. "I noticed a younger woman that kept visiting Bruno, but only when she needed money and I started getting suspicious."Stabile contacted Adult Protective Services and the 106th Precinct to investigate. It turned out that Marks was a sweetheart swindler who was also starting to get her grip on another elderly man. Marks also obtained power of attorney over Bruno's property and was in the process of mortgaging his house for $568,000. Stabile said that Bruno's house was saved by one day before the transaction was to take place. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown stepped in with his Elder Fraud Unit to investigate and Marks was brought into custody and held on a $500,000 bond for grand larceny as a hate crime. She is currently serving time in prison for fraud. Stabile was presented with an honorary service/community award from the South Queens Democratic Club at last week's meeting in Howard Beach. The plaque simply read: "An outstanding award from the people of South Queens.""I will go out of my way for any elderly person," Stabile said. "Sometimes I try to go visit the elderly by going around to different nursing homes and I see sadness in their eyes, waiting for someone to visit them. They are like parcels, dropped off and never visited."He said no one should let their relatives rot at nursing homes, but they should be reached out to and they should know that they are not yesterday's news. In addition, toward the close of the meeting, Councilman David Weprin (D-Bellerose) and the New York City chairman of finances addressed the Democratic Club about this year's fiscal budget for New York City. The budget, which was presented by Mayor Michael Bloomberg Jan. 25, has three new components. The budget will consist of more money for seasonal park employees, ACS (Children's Services), and cultural institutions. Weprin said that all New York libraries would still run on a five-day a week schedule. Eliminating sales tax on clothing and shoes is also being considered. "New York City has a $55 billion budget, the fourth largest municipal budget in the country and we are still trying to get our fair share of funding for Homeland Security," Weprin said. Weprin also said that more funds are needed for education and the reduction of class size. He said that at this present time $15 billion is allotted for New York's educational system and that it is being shortchanged by 2 to 3 percent. "We have too many trailers outside of the school building where children are forced to learn from and it is unacceptable," he said. "Class sizes must be reduced and new schools must be constructed."

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