Category Archives: Politics

Library Board Suspends Galante

The beleaguered Board of Trustees of the Queens Borough Public Library late last Thursday night voted to place President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Galante on a leave of absence. The board approved a motion that places Galante on indefinite paid administrative leave, effective immediately, pending the results of a full financial audit by city Comptroller Scott Stringer and the outcome of a probe of the library’s construction projects by the FBI and the city’s Department of Investigation. Bridget Quinn-Carey, … Continue reading

Cuomo Calls for Agencies to Bolster Terror Security

While reassuring New Yorkers that there is no “credible threat” to their public safety, but still obviously concerned by ISIS activities abroad, Gov. Andrew Cuomo late last week directed the heads of several agencies to increase security at mass transit sites across the Big Apple. Cuomo met with legislative leaders Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), state Senate Majority Co-Leader Dean Skelos (R-Long Island) and state Senate Majority Co-Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) last Friday to announce a coordinated increase in law … Continue reading

Murky Waters: Rockaway Boat Service Still Ferry Uncertain

  Borough legislators pressed the mayor last month to extend Rockaway ferry service for a fifth time before it expires by the end of October. But now, more than a month later, little is known about the fate of the ferry based out of Beach 108th Street. The boat service launched as an alternative to the A train, which was knocked out in 2012 in the wake of destruction to the peninsula caused by Superstorm Sandy. Area residents hailed the … Continue reading

Ulrich, Howard Beach Seniors Laud Bus Program

Flanked by area seniors and non-profit staff, City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) officially announced on Monday that his office has helped to allocate funds to support senior shuttle bus service. The vehicle will serve four Catholic Charities senior centers throughout Ulrich’s district: Howard Beach, Woodhaven, Rockaway Beach and Ozone Park. The councilman’s office secured $25,000 for a driver to transport older adults from their homes to the senior center for activities, classes and workshops; and day trips to shopping centers, … Continue reading

Concern Grows Over de Blasio Housing Plan

Perhaps the most ambitious project of his mayoralty, Hizzoner Bill de Blasio’s 10-year, five-borough affordable housing plan is not without its critics. Just ask some residents of Woodhaven. “It’s a cheap way for the city to provide ‘affordable housing,’” said Sherman Kane at last Thursday’s meeting of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association. “It costs the city nothing. We, as middle-class homeowners, would be providing the solution.” In late July, the WRBA reached out to the mayor’s office via a letter … Continue reading

City Adds More Sandy Scarred Streets to To-Do List

Elected officials this week announced that after some prodding, the city agreed to repave side streets initially left out of the Broad Channel Street Resurfacing Project. The program initially covered the area along Cross Bay Boulevard from West 5th Road to West 20th Road. After meeting with Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park), City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and Dan Mundy, Jr., president of the Broad Channel Civic Association, officials from the city departments of Transportation and Design and Construction … Continue reading

De Blasio, Katz Appoint Two More Library Trustees

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz announced last week their latest selections to the Queens Borough Public Library Board of Trustees. The administration and borough president’s office began naming replacements in recent weeks for the eight trustees that were ousted earlier this year after voting “no” on a resolution to force Library chief executive officer Thomas Galante to take a leave of absence in the wake of several scathing published reports detailing his hefty six-figure salary … Continue reading

With Boost From Ulrich Office, Men in Blue Keep B. 116th Clean

As close-knit Rockaway communities continue to tackle the physical and emotional toll left by Superstorm Sandy nearly two years ago, it was announced last Thursday that one patch of the peninsula is getting a helping hand from the Men in Blue cleaning crew. Thanks in part to discretionary funding provided through City Councilman Eric Ulrich’s (R-Ozone Park) office, Doe Fund workers will provide supplemental trash pickups and street cleaning services to Beach 116th Street twice a week. These homeless or … Continue reading

Goldfeder Rallies for Online Grocery Options in Queens

Grocery shopping is very different for shoppers using food stamps in the Bronx.   There, a select number of zip codes have the option of ordering groceries online, which has served as a lifeline especially for senior citizens. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) called out the United States Department of Agriculture this week, asking why the same did not apply to southern Queens.   “Buying groceries should not be a nightmare for seniors with limited mobility,” Goldfeder said. “No … Continue reading

De Blasio, Stringer Spar Over Pre-K Plans

City Comptroller Scott Stringer says his office has less than 30 percent of all city universal pre-kindergarten contracts just days before the first day of school.   Stringer said he only received 141 of more than 500 contracts for pre-K service providers, preventing an independent review and registration of more than 70 percent of contracts before the Sept. 4 start date. “My office will continue to work expeditiously to review and register contracts as we receive them, in accordance with … Continue reading

Ulrich, Communities Prep for Participatory Budgeting

While formal meetings to discuss proposals and vote are still several months in the offing, City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and community leaders talked to The Forum this week about the participatory budgeting process and how it has impacted the concept of local governance. Last year, Community Board 9 was introduced to the participatory budgeting initiative—an optional “democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. In other words, the people who pay … Continue reading

Build It Back Cuts Over 500 Checks: Mayor

  The Build It Back program geared towards putting Superstorm Sandy victims back on their feet gave a green light to hundreds of construction projects and cut even more reimbursement checks after starting the year at zero, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.   The city approved the construction for 535 homes and also sent 543 reimbursement checks through the Build it Back program, far exceeding de Blasio’s goals set as part of the Sandy recovery overhaul earlier this year. The … Continue reading

Goldfeder on S. Queens Traffic Patrol

The city Transportation Department got an earful over the last few weeks as a southern Queens lawmaker sounded off over the need for traffic relief in the Rockaways. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) met with DOT reps near two problematic spots in the southern part of his district and called for changes to ease traffic issues there. Goldfeder said he and City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) joined with members of the southern Queens community to address outrage after … Continue reading

Build It Back Delivers Water Bill Credit

The city’s Build It Back program announced new water bill credits to homeowners whose homes were left vacant in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, director Amy Peterson said this week. The program director fired off a letter to residents of southern Queens in tandem with the city Department of Environmental Protection and the Housing Recovery Office identifying 1,500 homeowners eligible for the latest form of disaster relief. Through the Build It Back program,  those residents secured a non-refundable $750 credit … Continue reading

Violence Interrupters Coming to More Boro Communities

When Mayor Bill de Blasio announced earlier this month the expansion of the Gun Violence Crisis Management System to 14 precincts across the city—including four in Queens—he noted that, as an integral part of the $12.7 million program, individuals known as “violence interrupters” would be descending on the high-risk communities targeted by the joint de Blasio administration-City Council effort. “This [expansion] relies on the notion of violence interruption,” de Blasio said. “You may have heard of this around the country—the … Continue reading