Category Archives: Politics

Political newcomers face uphill battle in boro

As many political experts have pointed out, the questions surrounding the long-standing dominance and subsequent effects of party politics have never been easy to answer – perhaps because they are as varied and complex as Queens itself. Some in the borough contended that dominant parties make it more difficult for political neophytes to enter the fray while others said that the traditional political machines have made strides to better represent Queens’ diverse and ever-growing population. “Newcomers to politics often find … Continue reading

Beltrani to chair Queens GOP

Queens GOP Executive Vice Chairman Robert Beltrani assumed the role of chairman in the wake of Phil Ragusa’s death as the party continues its efforts to get more Republicans into elected office. Beltrani, who works as a judge with the New York State Division of Parole, was automatically named chairman to fill the vacancy left last month when Ragusa died. He will serve as chairman for the remainder of Ragusa’s term, which runs through September 2015, according to GOP spokesman … Continue reading

Goldfeder fights offensive ads

Rockaway beach bums were slapped with a controversial sky advertisement over the weekend and one southern Queens lawmaker said he has seen enough. Reports of an airplane sporting a pro-swastika flag over the Rockaways sent Queens residents into confusion as to why the sensitive symbol was up in the sky. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) took that opportunity to call on the city Department of Consumer Affairs to up its efforts in combatting inappropriate signage. “I have two young … Continue reading

Lawmakers talk traffic relief for Far Rockaway

Lawmakers’ pleas to ease traffic on Beach 9th Street were finally answered this week when the city agreed to install traffic signals over the next two months, officials said. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Far Rockaway) teamed up with City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) earlier this year with hopes of persuading the Transportation Department to put more traffic signals along Beach 9th Street and Roosevelt Court. The city got back to them this week with a commitment to fulfill those wishes by Sept. … Continue reading

Comrie collects key endorsements in Senate run

Former City Councilman Leroy Comrie is garnering up plenty of support in his attempt to unseat embattled state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis). Comrie, who most recently served as deputy borough president under Borough President Melinda Katz, announced endorsements from important groups like the Queens County Democratic Organization and U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), who chairs that group. Other political leaders throwing support behind the former policymaker included U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica), City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) and City … Continue reading

Queens Republicans look ahead without Ragusa

Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa died at a turbulent time for his party and now members are looking where to go next amid infighting and minimal results.   Ragusa, 74, died late last month after a short battle with Leukemia in the company of loved ones. His death came just weeks after his party’s various clubs met in Forest Hills to try and find a common ground and move towards the ultimate goal of getting Republicans elected.   Currently, City … Continue reading

Ulrich pushes education tax credit

A special tax credit geared towards education would likely spark more investment into the state’s schools, lawmakers argued this week.   City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) stood beside John Cahill, a candidate for attorney general, to plug the education investment tax credit as a means to encourage businesses or individuals to donate money to educational institutions. It was a measure Ulrich said received incredible support in the state Senate, but has yet to get going in the Assembly.   … Continue reading

Straphangers want summer bus boost

Southern Queens bus riders are calling on the Metropolitan Transit Authority to step up its summer service as beachgoers flood the region.   Residents from Rockaway teamed up with transportation leaders and elected officials to call on the MTA to increase service along the Q52, Q53 and Q22 bus lines to reduce congestion, stifle pollution and address the busy summer months ahead. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) fired off a letter to MTA Chairman Thomas F. Prendergast calling for … Continue reading

Governor hopeful Astorino hits Howard Beach

  If he wants to win the state, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said voters in Howard Beach needed to rally behind his run for governor.   The Republican candidate paid a visit to Lenny’s Clam Bar on Cross Bay Boulevard Monday night in the company of other party leaders, including former mayoral candidate Joe Lhota and City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) to pitch his agenda to likeminded voters.   “We need your help,” Astorino said to the Ronald … Continue reading

Lawmakers sound alarms for storm evacuation routes

Southern Queens leaders are looking for a way out.   Superstorm Sandy may have been an anomaly in terms of its severity and timing, but it also shined a harsh light on the region’s ability to evacuate, lawmakers said. State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) and Nassau County Legislator Howard Kopel linked up to collect signatures for the governor demanding upgrades along crucial exit routes.   “Residents in southern Queens and Rockaway have always been isolated geographically and often rely … Continue reading

Lindenwood pushes for parking fix

A few little white lines could go a long way for the people in Lindenwood.   Residents and elected officials hit the pavement this week and asked the city Transportation Department to paint parking lines along 157th Avenue between 80th and 77th Street to make for more parking spaces. Which each dash in the concrete, drivers would more easily see their spots and become less likely to violate traffic laws, officials said.   “A small effort from the DOT will allow local residents … Continue reading

Petitions hint at Ognibene Senate run

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo may have a Republican challenger later this year.   Former City Councilman Tom Ognibene has had his name appear on petitions circulating throughout the southern Queens 15th Senate District, which includes Howard Beach, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ozone Park, the Rockaway Peninsula, Woodhaven and more. He did not return calls seeking comment.   Though he has yet to file a campaign committee with the state Board of Elections, Ognibene still has until July 10 to submit petitions in … Continue reading

Meng Honors Student Art Contest Winner from Flushing in Washington, D.C.

  U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) honored Queens student Xiangkun Kong in Washington, D.C. for winning the Congresswoman’s 2014 “Sixth Congressional District Art Contest.”   Meng’s second annual art competition, which consisted of submissions from numerous high schools throughout Queens, is part of “An Artistic Discovery,” the national Congressional art contest that showcases the artwork of high school students from across the nation.   Kong’s winning artwork – along with the winning pieces from art contests in Congressional districts throughout … Continue reading

Crowley outlines traffic reforms at Maspeth forum

On the heels of sweeping traffic reforms being signed into law, City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Maspeth) took to her home district to discuss some of the latest Vision Zero accomplishments as the city cracks down on street safety. Crowley joined with members of the city Department of Transportation at a Monday night town hall at IS 73 to talk about the newest reforms, including the reduction of the city speed limit from 25 miles per hour to 30 miles per … Continue reading

Miller applauds Assembly fracking ban

The state Assembly passed through a measure that would ban the controversial practice of hydraulic fracking until 2017 as lawmakers wait for scientific research to become available, officials said. State Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) said he was proud to be a part of the motion to suspend the Department of Environmental Conservation’s ability to issue natural gas drilling permits, which he helped sponsor. The process of hydraulic fracturing, also known has hydrofracking, has been a longstanding issue plaguing the entire … Continue reading