Category Archives: Politics

Three State Referendums Also on Ballot This Election Year

When borough voters size up the state and congressional races on the ballot on Nov. 4 they’ll also come across three referendums, or proposals: revising the state’s redistricting procedure; permitting electronic distribution of state legislative bills; and the Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014. The purpose of the first referendum—revising the state’s redistricting procedure—is to reform the process of establishing new state legislative and congressional district lines that the Constitution requires every 10 years. If the proposal is approved, a … Continue reading

Mayor Signs Law Expanding Pre-Tax Transit Benefits

Mayor Bill de Blasio this week signed into law a bill which requires city companies with 20 or more full-time employees to offer pre-tax transit benefits. Intro 295-Aencourages employers to take advantage of an existing federal tax benefit, which already allows businesses to offer its workers $130 a month as pre-tax income for transportation. The legislation is expected to save employees opting into the program an average of over $400 a year on their Metro Card expenses. Once companies start offering this benefit, according … Continue reading

Cuomo Details Ebola Strategies, Precautions for State, City

As concerns over the Ebola virus continue to rise across the city, state as well as the nation, Gov. Cuomo has just announced sweeping plans, in conjunction with regional and state hospital/healthcare leaders regarding precautions to help to protect the health and safety of New Yorkers. Central to the governor’s plan is the designation of eight hospitals throughout the state to treat potential Ebola patients as well as a state Department of Health Order to all hospitals and healthcare workers … Continue reading

DOT May Install Speed Bumps at Tudor Village Problem Spots

As city officials prepare to enforce the latest element of the de Blasio administration’s Vision Zero transit-safety initiative—reducing the default speed limit to 25 miles per hour from 30 mph—residents of Tudor Village this week learned that speed bumps may soon be installed on a street that many have considered dangerous for decades. In response to long-standing concerns raised by residents over frequent traffic accidents in the area, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) wrote a letter to city Department of … Continue reading

Stringer Vows to ‘Intervene’ on Behalf of Civic in Sanitation Ticket Tussle

The city comptroller last Saturday briefly addressed the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association meeting, vowing to support the civic organization in its quest to have the city Sanitation Department review its overnight ticketing policy, which has directly affected the WRBA on many occasions. “We are going to intervene on behalf of the Residents’ Association,” Comptroller Scott Stringer said, adding that his office will collaborate with area elected officials on the matter. “We will contact the Sanitation Department and we will take … Continue reading

Build It Back ‘Starting to Change the Lives’ of Sandy Victims: Mayor

  Set against the backdrop of a cerulean sky fighting through blankets of cotton-ball clouds, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday talked about one of the city’s darkest Mondays two years ago, the day Broad Channel nearly drowned. He talked about the Galimi family—John, Jayme and their five children—and their struggle to survive Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath. “After the water subsided, they realized their home was gone,” de Blasio said of the family’s Cross Bay Boulevard abode. “You can … Continue reading

Borough Keeping Buildings Department Busy

It seems that Queens continues to keep the city Department of Buildings very busy. That was the story Tuesday night at the Community Board 9 meeting as DOB officials detailed how active the borough is with complaints, inspections and penalties. “In the city, there were 278 access warrants [filed] last fiscal year,” said Anthony Iuliano, director of intergovernmental affairs for the DOB, referring to building-inspection documents, “Two hundred seventy two were in Queens.” Iuliano also noted that illegal curb cuts … Continue reading

Rego Park Republican Set to Take on Addabbo

The reputations of the city and state legislatures have been in tatters for so long now—so many elected officials have been charged and convicted of corruption and betraying the public trust—that one publication recently held a contest which awarded a free dinner to the contestant who could correctly guess the next elected official to be indicted in New York. With this as one of myriad examples of how the Empire State’s legislative leaders are perceived, why would anyone want to … Continue reading

Centreville Sewer Project Moving Forward After Decades of Delays

To Centreville residents, or those who live close to Albert Road in Ozone Park, the mere mention of the now 30-years-overdue sewer and infrastructure project for the area will likely be met with more than a bit of skepticism. “For me, who has been involved with this project for some 35 years, back when it first was proposed…There have been so many false start dates that I have my concerns and doubts about any new dates the city comes up … Continue reading

QueensWay Draws Raves, but Some Still Oppose Park Plan

Friends of the QueensWay and the Trust for Public Land this week released the much-anticipated QueensWay Plan, a study which both groups jointly characterized as “a blueprint for the QueensWay—New York City’s next great park.” The project involves converting the long-abandoned Rockaway Beach Branch line of the Long Island Rail Road—a 3.5-mile swath of the borough, from Rego Park to Ozone Park—into a $120 million public park boasting trails and many amenities. According to the study, the QueensWay will “provide … Continue reading

Pols, Communities Call on State to Improve Evacuation Routes and Signs

Emergency evacuation infrastructure and route signage along the Nassau Expressway and connecting roadways in southern Queens and southwestern Nassau County are in desperate need of immediate repair, according to area elected officials. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Beach) and Nassau County Legislator Howard Kopel (D-LI) led a rally on Sunday morning in Five Towns to call on the state Department of Transportation to improve the roadways and signage before more natural catastrophes wreak havoc on communities. “In southern Queens and Rockaway, … Continue reading

Loan Reforms Could Help Students Struggling With Debt

With nearly 40 million student loan borrowers holding more than $1.2 trillion in student-loan debt, federal statistics now show that student-loan debt has surpassed credit cards as the country’s third largest type of household debt. Moreover, millions of student-loan borrowers are in default, and even more are delinquent in payments. But, help may be on the way in the form of several recent efforts to reform student loans by enabling borrowers to refinance at lower interest rates, much in the … Continue reading

Civic Leaders, Pols Discuss Emergency Prep with New OEM Chief

While it has been nearly two years since Superstorm Sandy descended on the city, leaving unimaginable destruction in its wake on the Rockaway peninsula and in southern Queens, several communities are still coping with damage and the newfound anxiety associated with hurricane season. In an effort to assuage those fears a bit and continue the dialog on emergency preparedness, area civic leaders and elected officials last week met with the new commissioner of the city Office of Emergency Management at … Continue reading

Ulrich, QEDC Announce Anti-Graffiti Program

After surveying the transformed brick wall—minutes earlier covered in various forms of graffiti, now barely showing the healed scars from years of illegal paint jobs—an obviously impressed City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) captured the moment. “Now you see it,” he remarked as a worker turned off a powerwasher, “now you don’t.” Civic leaders and business owners joined Ulrich on Wednesday in front of the brick wall on the corner of 101st Street and Jamaica Avenue to tout a new … Continue reading

Mayor Touts $130 Million Community Parks Initiative

With already a few ambitious projects set to define his mayoralty, Mayor Bill de Blasio this week launched another large-scale initiative, this time aimed at a more equitable city park system. Speaking at Bowne Playground in Flushing on Tuesday morning, de Blasio announced the Community Park Initiative, a multi-faceted program to invest $130 million in under-resourced public parks located in the city’s densely populated and growing neighborhoods with higher-than-average concentrations of poverty. “From children and parents to athletes and students, … Continue reading