Category Archives: Politics

Bowling in Ozone Park for a Cause

Members of the Rotary Club of Southwest Queens on Sunday afternoon were joined by elected officials at Cozy Bowl in Ozone Park to knock down some pins and raise funds for veterans, including helping recently discharged post-Sept. 11 service members with transitioning back into civilian life. “For over 100 years, the Rotarians have led on important issues to truly make a difference around the world,” said City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park). “Post 9/11 veterans deal with complex issues reintegrating back into … Continue reading

Magazine Hails Borough as Great Place to ‘Start’

It seems that Queens’ cache continues to rise. Hot on the heels of its most recent honor as a top travel destination, a report this month by Popular Mechanics magazine named the borough one of the best startup cities in America for aspiring entrepreneurs. The piece cited numerous factors, including cheaper rents compared to trendy Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as new support for entrepreneurs, such as the Coalition for Queens, a nonprofit that helps attract, grow and retain local … Continue reading

Top Aids Resign, New Trustees Appointed as Library Shakeup Continues

A new week has bequeathed but more new developments in the now year-long saga of the beleaguered Queens Borough Public Library. Four top aids to ousted former Chief Executive Officer and President Tom Galante resigned last week, according to a Daily News report. Each individual was a vice president in the Library system and earned nearly $200,000 a year in various positions. This marks five resignations in the past month for the Library. Jennifer Manley, director of government and community … Continue reading

Building Collapse, Slow Recovery Cause Volunteer Ambulance Corps to Shutter

The partial collapse of a building on Jamaica Avenue in 2013 has had a devastating domino effect on the Woodhaven community. It seems that the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, whose headquarters are located in the building next to the affected edifice, will have to close its doors for good. Queens Supreme Court Judge Diccia Pineda-Kirwan has granted a construction extension to the owner of the partially collapsed building that once housed a furniture shop. This is a troubling development, … Continue reading

Housing, Immigrant Communities, Jobs Among State of Borough Topics

It’s the end of January: Time for all of the “State of the…” government progress reports. Borough President Melinda Katz is set to deliver her first address detailing the achievements of her inaugural year in office, and her vision for “The World’s Borough” over the next 12 months, this Thursday, Jan. 22, at Queens College in Flushing. In a roundtable question-and-answer media session on Tuesday at Borough Hall, Katz previewed her speech, discussing a wide range of issues affecting the … Continue reading

Queens and Linden Boulevards to Get Vision Zero Treatment

  Hoping to build upon the transportation gains of 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio last week announced that comprehensive Vision Zero planning initiatives were on the way for Queens and Linden boulevards. In the first year of de Blasio’s plan to reduce Big Apple traffic deaths to zero, pedestrian fatalities fell to 134, the lowest level since 1910, and overall traffic fatalities were down by 15 percent from 2013. De Blasio attributed part of the success to the city Department … Continue reading

FEMA Program Could Drastically Cut Homeowner Flood Insurance Rates

For residents of low-lying, flood-prone areas, there may be light on the water-logged horizon. That’s because a little-known Federal Emergency Management Agency program could help dramatically reduce flood insurance premiums for affected homeowners. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Howard Beach) this week called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to enroll the city in FEMA’s Community Rating System to help reduce flood insurance premiums for thousands of families. Communities enrolled in CRS can reduce household premiums by up to 45 percent through community … Continue reading

All About Energy at Borough Cabinet Meeting

Energy, its various forms and how to save it was the topic at Tuesday’s Borough Cabinet meeting at Borough Hall. Samuel Man, a regional representative from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority detailed numerous programs to help both city residents and small businesses save money on energy costs while also helping the environment by using clean and renewable energy sources. Since 1975, NYSERDA has been providing programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy … Continue reading

City is No Home for Styrofoam

It seems that in just over a year in the big chair at City Hall, Mayor Bill de Blasio has become familiar with the give and take of Gotham politics. Within a 24-hour period last week, de Blasio announced that he was lifting the ban on cell phones at public schools, and levying a ban on single-use Styrofoam products in the city. The administration on Friday announced that as of July 1, food service establishments, stores and manufacturers may not … Continue reading

De Blasio, Mark-Viverito Launch IDNYC Card Program

Mayor Bill de Blasio, joined by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, other elected officials and civic leaders on a damp, overcast Monday morning in Flushing, officially launched the IDNYC municipal identification program for residents of all five boroughs. Signed into law over the summer, with the intention of helping “government work more effectively and efficiently for New Yorkers,” according to the Mayor’s Office, the municipal ID card is available for all city residents age 14 and older. It will be … Continue reading

De Blasio Announces Major Reform of City’s ‘Outdated’ Corporate Tax Structure

Mayor Bill de Blasio this week proposed a major reform of the city’s corporate tax structure, modernizing what he called an “outdated system,” providing tax relief to small businesses and local manufacturers, and streamlining tax codes. The revenue-neutral reforms will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015. Certain corporate tax provisions have not been reformed in decades, de Blasio said, and reflect an outdated financial regulatory structure. By conforming the city’s corporate tax system with that of the state, de Blasio … Continue reading

Port Authority Seeking Public Input on Freight Traffic Congestion Solution

Port Authority representatives on Monday visited the Borough Board in the second-floor conference room at Borough Hall to detail Cross Harbor Freight Program options and encourage input from the public in choosing the best regional solutions for freight-related traffic congestion. The primary purpose of the CHFP, according to the Port Authority and Federal Highway Administration, is to improve the movement of freight across New York Harbor between the east-of-Hudson and west-of-Hudson regions. By improving the movement of goods across the … Continue reading

Commissioner of Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Calls Outreach Crucial

The other side of sports, the seedy underbelly pockmarked with athletes behaving badly, dominated the narrative of the kickoff of the National Football League’s 2014 season. Because of the actions of gridiron stars such as Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, domestic violence suddenly was thrust into the national spotlight, controlling the conversation on sports radio stations from Astoria to Albuquerque. While many saw an opportunity to share an opinion, Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, … Continue reading

Amendment 8 Plan Outlines How City Will Use Grant Money for Sandy Recovery

With the arrival of the third allocation of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds—a little more than $994 million—the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency last week began to roll out the city’s strategy for how to use the money, and solicit public comment from residents and business owners. Every time the city receives additional CDBG-DR funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, it must update its Action Plan to describe how the funds will be … Continue reading

Passionate Crowd Rallies to Support Cops

Passionate pro-police, anti-administration prose delivered on the steps outside Borough Hall briefly heated up a bitterly cold Tuesday afternoon as activists, union and civic leaders, and elected officials rallied in support of the NYPD. Organized by Joe Concannon, a retired police captain and one-time City Council candidate, the event, replete with guest speakers and plenty of signs, was the first in a five-borough series that will culminate at City Hall. “We’re here to let the world know that the vast, … Continue reading