Category Archives: Politics

Addabbo Lauds Vet Program Funding in New Budget

While acknowledging that the final $142 billion budget “left a lot to be desired in some areas,” state Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) this week praised the package for funding several veterans programs, including initiatives to expand counseling and legal advocacy services; advance research into post traumatic stress disorder; retrofit housing for disabled former members of the military; and help to ensure indigent veterans are laid to rest in dignity. “It’s a good budget overall,” Addabbo said on Tuesday … Continue reading

CB 9 Members Ask Katz to Reconsider Evangelista Ouster

An overwhelming majority of Community Board 9 members Tuesday night voted in favor of sending a letter to Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, requesting that she revisit her decision to decline Dr. Vincent Evangelista’s reappointment to the board for the 2015-2017 term. Evangelista, an Ozone Park podiatrist, reapplied last month to his seat on the advisory body that represents the communities of Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, and Kew Gardens, and was officially denied by Katz. Some board members and … Continue reading

De Blasio Under Fire for Some Vets Board Picks

Mayor Bill de Blasio this week is still absorbing sharp criticism over some of his appointments to the Veterans Advisory Board. Established in 1987, the VAB and advises the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs on issues and acts as a liaison between the city and the local veterans’ community. The board is comprised of nine members—five appointed by the mayor and four by the City Council speaker. Last Thursday, de Blasio appointed six new members to serve on the board: Charles Greinsky, … Continue reading

Braton Re-Elected Chairwoman of CB 10

Longtime Community Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton last week was re-elected to the post, but some things have changed in the advisory body that represents the interests of Howard Beach, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Tudor Village, and Lindenwood. Braton revealed that Sean McCabe did not reapply for membership, and that the subcommittee on Homeland Security, which McCabe had chaired, would be rolled into the Public Safety Committee. Additionally, Rosemary Ciulla-Frisone announced her retirement from the city Department … Continue reading

State Legislature Approves $142B Budget; Education, Ethics Reforms Anchor Spending Plan

Governor Andrew Cuomo and leaders of the state Legislature early Wednesday morning announced the passage of the 2015-2016 budget. Anchored by education and ethics reforms—the two issues that had lawmakers burning the midnight oil Tuesday—the $142 billion spending plan boasts new investments in rebuilding and growing the Empire State economy, including $1.5 billion for the Upstate Revitalization Initiative and $500 million to make New York the first in the nation to have statewide broadband. “This $142 billion budget is the … Continue reading

Civic Celebrates One Year as Voice of Two Communities; DOT Projects, Crime on Howard Beach-Lindenwood Meeting Agenda

The Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic on Tuesday evening marked one-year as a unified association at its monthly meeting at St. Helen Catholic Academy. “It’s been a pleasure working with [the community] this year,” said Civic President Joann Ariola, “and hopefully for many years to come.” The Howard Beach Civic Association and the Lindenwood Alliance merged in March, 2014. “We realized it would be more advantageous to the community if the two groups, both part of the 11414 area code, joined together,” … Continue reading

Goldfeder’s Sandy Tax Relief Bill Passed by Assembly

The State Assembly this week passed a bill introduced by Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway) extending tax exemptions to homeowners that have seen their property taxes increase as a result of work to repair damages caused by the 2012 storm. “Passing this Sandy tax relief bill is a major victory for our families who do not deserve to be taxed for simply repairing and replacing what was lost in the storm,” said Goldfeder. “I want to thank my colleagues for recognizing that two … Continue reading

Participatory Budget Voting Dates Set

Council Member Eric Ulrich announced this week the final ballot and voting sites of Participatory Budgeting in the Community Board 9 Portion of New York City’s 32nd Council District. Voting will take place between April 6 and April 24. Residents of Community Board 9 (Woodhaven, Ozone Park, and Richmond Hill) can vote for their top five projects to decide how $1 million in capital funding will be spent. Education 1. $300,000 for Technology Upgrades at Local Schools: P.S. 90 Horace … Continue reading

Board Member Demands CB 9 Chairman Resign Immediately

In an explosive email sent last week to all members of Community Board 9 and obtained by The Forum, a longtime board member called on Chairman Ralph Gonzalez to resign immediately. Gonzalez is already scheduled to formally hand the reins to incoming Chairman Raj Rampershad in a matter of days. But Sam Esposito wants Gonzalez out—now. The subject of the email: “Demand Ralph Gonzalez RESIGN Immediately abuse of power.” “Ralph must step down now instead of waiting until the end … Continue reading

Katz Submits Budget Priorities to Mayor, Council

Borough President Melinda Katz this week submitted Queens’ Fiscal Year 2016 expense and capital budget priorities to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council. The recommendations, which were prepared by Katz’s budget staff and approved nearly unanimously earlier this month by the Borough Board, address issues that Katz, civic leaders and other stakeholders want to see included in the city’s adopted FY 2016 budget. This information included oral and written testimony submitted during the Borough Board’s budget hearing on … Continue reading

De Blasio, Giuliani Urge Albany to Protect Mayoral Control of City Schools

The old adage is that politics makes for strange bedfellows. But even Charles Dudley Warner could not have imagined this pairing. Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Monday sent a joint letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature urging them to renew and protect mayoral control of the city public school system. “This is a proven reform with broad support among parents, educators and officials from all ends of the spectrum,” said de Blasio, … Continue reading

Queens Republicans Rally Around; New Chairman Bob Turner: ‘I Want Everyone to Have a Voice’

In a spirited reception more befitting that of the return of a conquering hero, former U.S. Rep. Bob Turner last Thursday fired up the Queens County Republican Party as he addressed the club for the first time as its new chairman. “I think we can turn Queens around big time,” Turner said, eliciting one of many rounds of applause from the dozens of district leaders and members on hand at American Legion Continental Post 1424 in Forest Hills. Turner, a … Continue reading

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Turner to Lead Queens GOP

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Turner will be named the next chairman of the Queens County Republican Party, according to a published report and several sources. Turner, a retired television executive and Rockaway resident who won the 2011 special election for the 9th Congressional District seat following Anthony Weiner’s resignation amid his initial sexting scandal, will formally be awarded the post by state Republican chief Ed Cox at a meeting of the QGOP executive committee this Thursday evening in Forest Hills, … Continue reading

Borough Board Approves Budget Priorities

  The Borough Board on Monday voted nearly unanimously to approve the Expense and Capital Budget Priorities for the Fiscal Year 2016 Preliminary Budget. All members of the board, which is chaired by Borough President Melinda Katz and comprised of Queens City Council members and the chairpersons of every borough community board, voted in the affirmative, except two who had to abstain due to conflicts of interest. Two weeks ago, community board officials, agencies, advocates and civic groups brought their … Continue reading

CB 9 Selects New Executive Committee

Just a week after completing the search for its new district manager, Community Board 9 on Tuesday evening voted in a new Executive Committee during its meeting at Borough Hall. Raj Rampershad is the new chairman of the board, taking the baton from Ralph Gonzalez, who decided not to run for re-election. J. Richard Smith moved up to 1st vice chairman from 2nd vice chairman, while Joel Kuszai was elected to Smith’s previous post. Ivan Mrakovcic is the new executive … Continue reading