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DATE 2007-05-01

HANGOUT

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MESSAGE
DATE 2007-05-16
FROM Ruben Safir
SUBJECT Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [bruce.lai@council.nyc.ny.us: BROOKLYN BROADBAND
From owner-hangout-at-mrbrklyn.com Wed May 16 23:18:12 2007
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Date: Wed, 16 May 2007 23:18:06 -0400
From: Ruben Safir
To: hangout-at-mrbrklyn.com
Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [bruce.lai-at-council.nyc.ny.us: BROOKLYN BROADBAND
HEARING: Tuesday, May 22nd, Noon to 3 pm at Brooklyn Borough Hall]
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----- Forwarded message from Bruce Lai -----

Date: Wed, 16 May 2007 17:38:16 -0400
From: Bruce Lai
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X-Accept-Language: en,pdf
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;
Subject: BROOKLYN BROADBAND HEARING: Tuesday, May 22nd, Noon to 3 pm at Brooklyn
Borough Hall

Hello All,

Please feel free to forward this e-mail on.

Thanks!
Bruce

*****

BROOKLYN BROADBAND HEARING: On Tuesday, May 22nd from Noon to 3 pm,
in the Courtroom hearing room, on the 2nd floor of Brooklyn Borough
Hall, the New York City Broadband Advisory Committee will convene its
second public hearing to hear testimony from Brooklyn residents,
nonprofit organizations and businesses. The Committtee would like to
get feedback on the following questions:

1. Why is a fast affordable Internet connection important to you?
2. What do you consider an "affordable" fee to pay for an high-speed
connection to the Internet?
3. If you have a broadband connection, what do you use it for (e.g.,
help your child do his/her homework)?
4. If don't have broadband or if you had a faster connection to the
Internet, what would you use it for (e.g., market your business
on-line or look for a job)?

Gale and I would like to thank the Office of the Brooklyn Borough
President Marty Markowitz for their help in securing this beautiful
space. Brooklyn Borough Hall is located at 209 Joralemon Street in
downtown Brooklyn. Here is a link to a Google map of where the hearing
location, including where the closest subway stops are:

*
http://www.google.com/maps?q=209+Joralemon+St,+Brooklyn,+New+York+11201,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title


WITNESSES: If you or anyone you know would like to testify at this
hearing (and put on the official witness list), please contact Jeff
Baker (jeffrey.baker-at-council.nyc.ny.us / 212-788-9193), Counsel to the
Committee on Technology in Government. Brooklyn parents of
schoolchildren, schoolchildren, nonprofit leaders, small business owners
and senior citizens are particularly encouraged to testify. Anyone who
attends the hearing is also free -- and encouraged -- to testify with no
advance notice required.

RATIONALE FOR THE BROADBAND ADVISORY COMMTITEE: I recently
published a blog post in the Huffington Post regarding our championing
of the New York City Broadband Advisory Committee and the issue of
universal, affordable access to broadband in New York City:

*
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-lai/the-future-of-digital-new_b_46221.html

COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Here's a list of the members of the Advisory
Committee along with their bios:
http://nycbroadband.blogspot.com/2007/03/list-of-members-of-committee.html.

RECAP OF THE MARCH 30TH BRONX BROADBAND HEARING: On Friday, March
30th, more than 200 people joined us on at Bronx Community College for
the first-ever public hearing on broadband in New York City. Over 30
members of the public testified, including Bronx residents, public
school students, leaders of nonprofit organizations and small business
owners.

The following are links to articles about the hearing in the Bronx
on March 30th:

* NY Daily News:
http://www.nydailynews.com/boroughs/bronx/2007/03/27/20070327_air_your_views_at_wifi_public_hearing.html
* Newsday:
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/ny-nybroa305151459mar30,0,4224312.story

* Metro:
http://ny.metro.us/metro/local/article/Bridging_the_digital_divide/7717.html
* NY1
http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index.jsp?&aid=68237&search_result=1&stid=12
* Informationweek:
http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=198100613&subSection=Breaking+News

* Norwood News:
http://www.bronxmall.com/norwoodnews/news/N70419page3.html
* Chelsea Now: http://www.chelseanow.com/cn_27/chelseahighschool.html
* Civil Defense: http://breitbart.wordpress.com/2007/04/03/bac-audio

A really good audio 3 minute recap (or podcast) of the Bronx hearing
is available at: http://odeo.com/audio/11062793/view. (Thanks Kat Aaron
of WBAI!)

The entire video of the enture Bronx hearing is available at:
http://www.bronxnet.org/c_program/whats_new/whats_new.htm. (Thank you
BronxNet!)

BROADBAND BRIEFING PAPER: Here's a briefing paper (by the Committee
on Technology in Government, not the NYC Broadband Advisory Committee)
on the subject of broadband:
http://nycbroadband.blogspot.com/2007/04/broadband-briefing-paper-type-here-full.html.
(Thank you Colleen Pagter, Policy Analyst of the Committee on Technology in
Government!)

QUESTIONS: If you have any questions about the NYC Broadband
Advisory Committee, please contact me, Bruce Lai at
bruce.lai-at-council.nyc.ny.us / 212-788-6975 or Ryan Merola at
ryan.merola-at-gmail.com / 212-788-6975.

NYC BROADBAND ADVISORY COMMITTEE WEBSITE: We have set up a website
-- http://nycbroadband.blogspot.com/ -- with the latest information re:
the NYC Broadband Advisory Committee.

*****

Here's a recent article about the NYC Broadband Advisory Committee
(as viewed by Gale and I, not the NYC Broadband Advisory Committee) and
the Bronx hearing in March.

* http://www.idgns.com/news.nsf/0/002570DE00740E18002572D4005F4738

WORLDBEAT : Committee tackles NYC's digital divide
By Elizabeth Montalbano
IDG News Service (New York Bureau)

NEW YORK (05/07/2007) - Providing affordable or free broadband
access to a city of more than 8 million is a daunting task. But a
movement spearheaded by New York Councilwoman Gail Brewer aims to do
just that, and taking a different tack from other U.S. cities trying
to build metropolitan Wi-Fi networks.

While cities such as Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles
have decided that Wi-Fi is the way to provide broadband Internet
access to residents, New York's plans have moved at a glacial pace.
Providing access to such a large metropolitan area, across five
boroughs, is a tricky business without a one-size-fits-all solution,
government officials have said.

Brewer, a councilwoman for the Upper West Side neighborhood of
Manhattan, has for several years promoted a strategy to close what
she views as a "digital divide" between residents who can afford
hefty fees for broadband access in the city, and those who can't.
Small businesses and nonprofits also can't compete effectively
because of the high cost of broadband, she said.

Local Law 126, sponsored by Brewer and approved in December 2005,
formed the New York City Broadband Advisory Committee. As other
cities are in final stages of either building (Philadelphia) or
planning (San Francisco) their Wi-Fi networks, New York's committee
means to deliver proof to the mayor that there is, in fact, a major
disparity between who in New York has Internet access, broadband or
otherwise, and who does not.

The committee plans to deliver findings to the mayor later this
year, and then officials will figure out how best to offer broadband.

"What we hope to get out of it ... is a combined approach [to
broadband]," Brewer said. "We want to discover innovative ways in
which technology can be used, and want to expand it so that everyone
in [New York] has inexpensive, fast Internet access. It's not about
technology for technology's sake, but how can nonprofits improve
their businesses, how can small businesses get more profits, etcetera."

Bruce Lai, Brewer's chief of staff and co-author of Local Law 126,
thinks it's fairly obvious that there is a digital divide in New
York. "Just because there is no official study does not mean there
is no digital divide." However, he reasoned that New York's measured
approach to figuring out how to provide broadband access is the best
way for the city to deliver it successfully.

"The key issue is not just the network itself," he said. "A lot of
cities think it's great just building networks. But it's more about
how they conceive the network and how to improve quality of life for
residents."

The committee held its first meeting recently in the Bronx.
Representatives from local schools, including high-school and
middle-school students, and businesses told the committee about
their access to the Internet and gave examples of how affordable
broadband access can be made available on a more widespread basis.

Miguel, who attends middle school in the Bronx, testified that kids
who have access to the Internet have an edge over students who don't
because they can do research to help them finish homework and
projects faster. Of the 50 children in his class, he said only about
10 own computers. Those who don't must go to local libraries to use
the Internet, often standing in long lines to have only a little
time to use the Web, he said.

Stuart Reid, co-chairman of Urban Communications Transport Corp.,
sharply criticized the scenario Miguel described.

"Children shouldn't have to stand on line to go online," Reid said.
He described how Urban Communications Transport, a private broadband
franchise, teamed with the South Bronx Overall Economic Development
Corporation to provide 1,200 families in the Bronx with free
Internet access.

The project provided families living in the Diego Beekman Houses, a
housing project in the South Bronx, with Pentium 3 computers and
Wi-Fi access. It also provided computer training, which Reid said is
more important than simply handing out computers and Wi-Fi access.

Jose, another Bronx middle schooler, said that his generation is
used to getting information quickly and easily from the Internet.
Because there is not fast, reliable access to it in his school or in
his home or those of his friends, they can easily lose interest in
school and learning, he said.

Jose also bluntly noted a difference between adults who grew up
without the Internet, such as some of his teachers, and the current
generation of students who are Web-savvy.

"Some of the older generation [will tell us], go get a book and
start reading," he said. "But that is something that bores these kids."

The hope is that public meetings will prove to skeptical city
officials that New York needs to solve its digital divide, Lai said.
After that, it's key that policy makers and other leaders in New
York "get as many people online as possible" in short order, he added.

*****

NET NEUTRALITY HEARING

On Monday, April 30 at 1 PM in the Council Chambers of City Hall,
Committee on Technology in Government held an oversight hearing on the
topic of "Establishing Strong Network Neutrality Principles in Order to
Protect the Internet." The hearing focused on Resolution No. 712
(http://webdocs.nyccouncil.info/textfiles/Res%200712-2007.htm), which
was introduced in the City Council in February 2007. Sponsored by
Council Member Gale Brewer, Res. 712 calls upon the United States
Congress "to codify strong network neutrality principles in order to
insure that the Internet will continue to foster innovation, increase
competition, and spur economic growth as well as making the Internet
faster and more affordable for all." Gale and I would like to thank Tim
Wu and Henning Schulrzinne of Columbia University, Tim Karr of the Free
Press and Craig Newmark of Craigslist (via written testimony) for
testifying.

*****

PERSONAL DEMOCRACY FORUM (via Andrew Rasiej)

Personal Democracy Forum - Sponsored by Google
Pace University, May 18, 2007

Technology and the Internet are changing democracy in America. Every
year, the nation's leading technologists, campaign organizers,
politicos, bloggers, activists and journalists come together in New York
City for a high-level conversation about the new tools, sites and
practices that are transforming elections and government.

* How is voter-generated content changing election campaigns?
* Why should advocacy groups adapt to the connected age?
* What new technology tools and practices are on the horizon?
* How are new technologies democratizing the political process?
* Which political leaders "get it"?

Hear:

* Peter Daou, Hillary Clinton '08
* Becki Donatelli, John McCain '08
* Esther Dyson, EDventure.org
* Mindy Finn, Mitt Romney '08
* Thomas Friedman, New York Times
* Seth Godin, Author
* Chris Kelly, Facebook
* Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post
* Lawrence Lessig, Author
* Kim Malone, Google AdSense
* Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo
* Craig Newmark, Craigslist
* Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google
* Joe Trippi, John Edwards '08

For more information, go to
http://pdf2007.confabb.com/conferences/PDF2007/details.

*****

Building the Broadband Economy 2007
May 17-18, 2007 - New York City

Now in its fourth year, Building the Broadband Economy is an
international meeting place and idea exchange for local government
officials and their private sector partners in telecom, IT, finance,
real estate and consulting. It's a unique opportunity to learn from the
world's most innovative communities how they have made the broadband
economy work for them, sometimes against great odds. It offers a global
perspective on the best ways to create broadband infrastructure, attract
knowledge workers, foster innovation and implement e-government programs
that contribute to economic growth and bridge the digital divide.

Speakers include:

* Council Member Gale A. Brewer, Chair of the New York City
Council's Committee on Technology in Government
* Todd Ramsey, General Manager of IBM Global Government
* Jerry Hultin, President of Polytechnic University and former US
Navy Undersecretary
* Daniele Auffray, Deputy Mayor, New Technologies and Research, The
City of Paris
* Lev Gonick, CIO, Case Western Reserve University
* John Campbell, President & CEO, Toronto Waterfront Revitalization
Corporation
* Roger Feierbach, Managing Director, VSAT Networks, EMEA and Latin
America, ViaSat

To learn more and register, visit www.intelligentcommunity.org.
>From the home page, click on the logo of the conference.

*****

Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) & New York
Telecommunications Reliability Advisory Council (NYTRAC) Present:
Telecommunications Reliability in the Information Capital of the World
May 17, 2007
Columbia University, New York

New York City depends on its telecommunications infrastructure. High
quality, high speed and highly reliable telecommunications services are
the lifeblood of the financial services, media, advertising and software
industries. The City's government has become information-centric, using
telecommunications to deliver critical municipal services to citizens.
Thousands of New Yorkers work for web-based businesses, delivering
services to clients around the world, and thousands more telecommute
regularly.

Is New York's telecommunications infrastructure up to the challenge
- is it reliable enough to support an information-dependent economy and
society? Could it be more reliable? Are users willing to pay for an
ultra-reliable infrastructure? Could network operators provide such a
network, and what would it cost? What can (and should) government do to
help? These questions are not just relevant to New York. As the United
States becomes increasingly dependent on reliable telecommunications,
the experience and lessons learned in New York will be applicable across
the country.

CITI and NYTRAC are organizing a full-day conference at Columbia
University to examine these and other questions. Expert representatives
of major users, suppliers of telecom services and all levels of
government will ask and answer the critical questions surrounding
telecommunications reliability in New York.

Additional details will be posted on the CITI and NYTRAC websites,
or for more information, please contact John Heywood , CITI's Assistant
Director, by email or at 212-854-4222.

*****

About the New York City Council's Committee on Technology in Government

The primary goals of the Committee on Technology in Government are:
(1) to expand digital equality by increasing access to broadband in
underserved communities of New York City (2) to increase the strategic
use of technology in government, thereby, increasing efficiency in
government and enhancing the quality of public services, and (3) to
promote the openness and transparency of government by making sure that
public information is accessible to every New York City resident.
Through its ability to hold oversight hearings over City agencies and
introduce and hear legislation, the Committee on Technology in
Government works to achieve its goals in partnership with the private,
public and nonprofit sectors. More information about the Committee and
the Chair of the Committee, Council Member Gale A. Brewer, can be found
at the following link:

*
http://nyccouncil.info/issues/committee.cfm?committee_id=106<sbdkey=5121


All Committee briefing papers from the current session (beginning in
January 2004) are also available through this link. If you know of
people who would be interested in the Committee on Technology in
Government's activities, please feel free to forward this e-mail to
them. If you know of anyone who would like to receive these e-mails,
just have them e-mail me. I will put them on the list. Finally, feel
free to post this information on any list serve you may belong to or on
any website you are affiliated with. If you do not want to receive
these e-mails anymore, please e-mail me, and I will take you off the
list immediately.

Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you at one of our hearings!

Regards,
Bruce

--
Bruce Lai
Chief of Staff
Office of Council Member Gale A. Brewer
New York City Council
250 Broadway, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10007
E-mail: bruce.lai-at-council.nyc.ny.us
--
PLEASE NOTE THE NEW PHONE NUMBERS
--
City Hall: 212.788.6975
Cell: 347.563.1295
Blackberry: bruce.lai-at-council.nyc.gov
--
District Office: 212.873.0282
Fax: 212.513.7717


--
Bruce Lai
Chief of Staff
Office of Council Member Gale A. Brewer
New York City Council
250 Broadway, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10007
E-mail: bruce.lai-at-council.nyc.ny.us
--
PLEASE NOTE THE NEW PHONE NUMBERS
--
City Hall: 212.788.6975
Cell: 347.563.1295
Blackberry: bruce.lai-at-council.nyc.gov
--
District Office: 212.873.0282
Fax: 212.513.7717




----- End forwarded message -----

--
http://www.mrbrklyn.com - Interesting Stuff
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software

So many immigrant groups have swept through our town that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998

http://fairuse.nylxs.com DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002

"Yeah - I write Free Software...so SUE ME"

"The tremendous problem we face is that we are becoming sharecroppers to our own cultural heritage -- we need the ability to participate in our own society."

"> I'm an engineer. I choose the best tool for the job, politics be damned.<
You must be a stupid engineer then, because politcs and technology have been attacted at the hip since the 1st dynasty in Ancient Egypt. I guess you missed that one."

  1. 2007-05-03 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] What is exciting today with Free Software?
  2. 2007-05-04 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Blue Ray being picked apart
  3. 2007-05-04 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Blue Tooth being picked at
  4. 2007-05-04 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [legcalendar-at-council.nyc.ny.us: City Council
  5. 2007-05-05 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Google IP Law Suits
  6. 2007-05-10 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Next NYLXS Meeting
  7. 2007-05-11 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Next NYLXS Meeting
  8. 2007-05-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Next NYLXS Meeting
  9. 2007-05-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Public Information for Sale 7.75 Billion dollars
  10. 2007-05-13 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Next NYKXS Meeting
  11. 2007-05-13 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Next NYLXS Meeting - Change in Plans
  12. 2007-05-15 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [nylug-at-q5comm.com: [nylug-talk] SSH tunneling
  13. 2007-05-15 mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com RE: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] NXLXS *regular* meeting day?
  14. 2007-05-15 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] NXLXS *regular* meeting day?
  15. 2007-05-15 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] NYLXS Installfest in Brooklyn, NY
  16. 2007-05-15 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] NYLXS Installfest in Brooklyn, NY
  17. 2007-05-15 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] What is exciting today with
  18. 2007-05-16 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] We need a Venue for a lecture on June 6th.
  19. 2007-05-16 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [bruce.lai-at-council.nyc.ny.us: BROOKLYN BROADBAND
  20. 2007-05-17 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] We need a Venue for a lecture on June 6th.
  21. 2007-05-17 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Installfest Annoucnement
  22. 2007-05-19 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: [nylug-talk] NYLXS Installfest in Brooklyn,
  23. 2007-05-19 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [auto_agent-at-jobcircle.com: JobCircle Weekly
  24. 2007-05-18 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Disks for Sunday
  25. 2007-05-21 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Installfest and Cookout
  26. 2007-05-21 mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com RE: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Installfest and Cookout
  27. 2007-05-21 mlr52-at-mycouponmagic.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] June 6th
  28. 2007-05-21 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] June 6th
  29. 2007-05-22 From: "Michael L. Richardson" <mlr52-at-mycouponmagic.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] room rental
  30. 2007-05-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] room rental
  31. 2007-05-22 From: "Michael L. Richardson" <mlr52-at-mycouponmagic.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] room rental
  32. 2007-05-22 From: "Michael L. Richardson" <mlr52-at-mycouponmagic.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] room rental
  33. 2007-05-23 mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Room for June 6th
  34. 2007-05-23 mlr52-at-mycouponmagic.com Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] RE: Room for June 6th
  35. 2007-05-29 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Meet to Plan June 6th
  36. 2007-05-30 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Meet to Plan June 6th
  37. 2007-05-30 Amy Coleman <acoleman-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Myspace
  38. 2007-05-30 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Myspace
  39. 2007-05-30 Amy Coleman <acoleman-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Myspace
  40. 2007-05-31 mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com RE: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Meet to Plan June 6th
  41. 2007-05-31 Amy Coleman <acoleman-at-mrbrklyn.com> RE: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Meet to Plan June 6th
  42. 2007-05-31 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Meet to Plan June 6th
  43. 2007-05-31 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] We need some help
  44. 2007-05-31 Amy Coleman <acoleman-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] We need some help
  45. 2007-05-31 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] We need some help
  46. 2007-05-31 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] David Sugar Photos
  47. 2007-05-31 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] NYLXS Goals

NYLXS are Do'ers and the first step of Doing is Joining! Join NYLXS and make a difference in your community today!