Category Archives: Politics

Meng delivers small business boost

Just over four months since bringing a congressional hearing to her home borough, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) followed through on her commitment to bringing more resources to Queens’ small businesses. A small business development center was announced as the borough’s newest resource for entrepreneurs looking for more dynamic assistance in arguably the most diverse borough of New York City. The program, housed at LaGuardia Community College, will plant an advisor in the Flushing branch of the Queens Library to … Continue reading

Avella money revamps Queens College lab

A Queens College science research and teaching laboratory will soon receive what many consider to be a much-needed facelift after state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) provided $2 million to the school. The classroom in need of renovations was originally built as a teaching laboratory for physical chemistry in 1949 and was changed into a student research laboratory in 2010. The switch only facilitated the building of new floors, leaving the original tabletops, gas, vacuum and water supply lines and wooden … Continue reading

Boro calls for bike share

Queens wants its fair share of city wheels. Lawmakers and transportation advocates rallied around legislation that would help accelerate the Citi Bike share program into Queens, where demand has already proven its presence. U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) spearheaded the Bike to Work Act of 2014, which would give pre-tax commuter benefits to workers. “Thousands of New Yorkers have already embraced the city’s bike share program as a viable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective form of public transportation,” Crowley said. … Continue reading

Homeless shelter slated for Rockaway

A former drug rehabilitation center in Rockaway is being converted into a homeless shelter, the city said, despite pleas from elected officials and residents living nearby who argued they were not given a fair warning. Homeless shelter proposals have left parts of the borough in frenzy over recent months with similar instances occurring in East Elmhurst and Glendale, where residents in each respective community have strongly opposed plans to install shelters in their neighborhoods. The latest spot – a former … Continue reading

Katz, de Blasio remove eight Queens Library board members

Eight members of the Queens Library’s board of trustees were nixed on Wednesday, thanks to a new state law enacted last month with help from Borough President Melinda Katz. Katz came out with the announcement Wednesday evening, taking responsibility for six of the eight members she removed from the board under a new state law she and other elected officials worked to pass in June in the name of transparency. In a statement, Katz said she chose to nix the … Continue reading

Deal diverts MTA strike

The city transit system is back on track. Threats of a system wide strike brought constant fear to the first half of July as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was failing to strike a deal with Long Island Railroad unions on a new contract. But parties from both sides of the debate came aboard compromise just days before the wheels stopped. Gov. Andrew Cuomo invited representatives from both sides of the table to meet with him last Thursday morning to settle … Continue reading

Conigliaro declares Senate bid as Ognibene opts out

Rego Park native Michael Conigliaro announced his bid for the state Senate this week, challenging state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) on the Republican and Conservative party lines. His announcement came just after another Republican, former City Councilman Thomas Ognibene, declined a run for the same seat. Conigliaro, who manages a real estate law firm and serves on the Forest Hills Our Lady of Mercy Church parish, rolled out a wide array of GOP support Monday on the heels of … Continue reading

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