Category Archives: Politics

De Blasio Touts After-School Initiative in Richmond Hill

Bill de Blasio’s successful mayoral campaign was built around his “Tale of Two Cities,” which highlighted what he saw as unprecedented socioeconomic inequality facing the Big Apple. One of the ways in which he sought to bridge that pervasive gap was through education, particularly after-school programs, and last week he visited Richmond Hill to applaud the efforts of educators and raise awareness of enrollment applications for these enhanced after-school activities. De Blasio and city Department of Youth and Community Development … Continue reading

Rikers Island Injury Claims on the Rise: Audit

With corruption and violence at alarming levels, and the bad old days back on the horizon, perhaps it is unsurprising to learn that personal injury claims at some facilities on Rikers Island have increased significantly over the last five years, according to an audit report published last week by city Comptroller Scott Stringer. Claims are filed by inmates or employees of city correction institutions or facilities who were allegedly injured by the actions of city employees or inmates. For example, … Continue reading

Ozone Park Biz Owners Decry Plaza Presence

Concerned Ozone Park entrepreneurs turned out last week at a Community Board 9 meeting to detail how they believe a pedestrian plaza has had a profoundly negative effect on their bottom lines. In addressing several CB 9 members, civic leaders, representatives from the city Department of Transportation and elected officials at Thursday’s Borough Hall confab, the business owners, all of whom run establishments near the dedicated open space on 101st Avenue at Drew Street and Liberty Avenue, returned consistently to two … Continue reading

Bill de Blasio: A Ferry Bad Mayor

Two buses left Rockaway last week to shuttle concerned residents to the steps of City Hall in the name of saving the beloved Rockaway Ferry before service is suspended in October. It was a nearly two-hour ride, which many argued provided tangible proof that the peninsula was desperately in need of alternative means of transportation. The ferry, which began service after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, was first implemented as a temporary transit option between the Rockaways and Manhattan while subway … Continue reading

Anti-Gun Initiative Expands to Far Rockaway

With shooting incidents on the uptick in the 101st and 114th precincts, elected officials last week announced a citywide initiative to reduce gun violence would be expanded to include parts of Far Rockaway and Astoria. In its initial iteration, which began in the summer of 2012, the Gun Violence Crisis Management System focused efforts on five of the city’s most troubled communities, including South Jamaica. The $12.7 million expansion, according to the de Blasio administration, brings the program to 14 total precincts, … Continue reading

State Veterans Summit Produces Results

Elected officials from across the state came together back in March to discuss some of the toughest issues facing our veterans as they return home, and one piece of legislation was signed into law this week to achieve that goal. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the new law on Monday, which he said would expand and strengthen services for veterans, active service members and their families by easing the transition to a new school for children of military families that relocate … Continue reading

Ulrich Unveils New Chief of Staff

City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) announced some changes in personnel out of his Ozone Park office this week. Salvatore Simonetti was named the councilman’s new chief of staff in place of Rudy Giuliani, who will be moving on as borough director at the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations and the Build it Back Program, Ulrich said. Simonetti has already an active member of Ulrich’s staff and will now oversee constituent services and district operations, the councilman said. “Sal … Continue reading

Longtime CB 9 Chair to Retire

Three decades of service will come to an end this October for Community Board 9 District Manager Mary Ann Carey. Carey, who first assumed the role under the Mayor Ed Koch administration, announced her retirement on Monday, putting an end to the longest tenured community board district manager role in the entire borough. “I have overseen many projects too numerous to mention here and worked with four borough presidents, dozens of legislators, commissioners, district managers and their staff,” Carey said. … Continue reading

Pols pick new trustees for Queens Library

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has been busy working with Mayor Bill de Blasio to pick up the pieces and refill vacancies they created on the Queens Library board of trustees, naming two new members this week. Katz appointed Sunnyside resident Robert Santos to the board on Tuesday and de Blasio announced Jukay Hsu of Flushing would be his newest appointee. Santos, who works as the vice president for campus planning and facilities management at the City College of New … Continue reading

Baldeo Busted on Obstruction of Justice Charges

Albert J. Baldeo, a former candidate for public office and Democratic district leader, was found guilty of obstruction of justice while also dodging several other fraud charges, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said. The Richmond Hill attorney was initially indicted back in 2014 and accused of soliciting straw donors to garner illegal campaign contributions when he unsuccessfully ran for the City Council in 2010. Bharara said Baldeo tampered with witnesses by asking them to lie to investigators as they probed his … Continue reading

Queens leaders push women-owned biz legislation

Borough leaders from all levels of government joined together in Queens this week on behalf of female-owned small businesses. Had the federal government met its existing goal of awarding 5 percent of federal contracts to women-owned businesses, that category of entrepreneurs would have received an estimated $56 million more in economic revenue last year, elected officials said. That was why U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), state Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh … Continue reading

Howard Beach Seniors Celebrate Longevity

Howard Beach seniors still know how to party. The Catholic Charities Howard Beach Senior Center hosted its first ever birthday bash for residents 90 years old and up, paying tribute to a long list of members who have lifetimes worth of stories to share. The center showed off residents anywhere from 90 to 103 years old while those same members showed off their pep with spry moves across the dance floor. “This is the first time we’re doing this,” said … Continue reading

Southern Queens Pushes for Transit Improvements

Transportation advocates are revving up their efforts to improve the southern part of the borough’s access to public transportation. Elected officials and community leaders called on Mayor Bill de Blasio last week to make ferry service to the Rockaway peninsula a permanent endeavor before it expires in October. Those same advocates also took to a state Assembly hearing last week to advocate for the revitalization of the Rockaway Beach Rail Line. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz joined with state Assemblyman … Continue reading

Queens Library trustees fight back

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has a fight on her hands. After Katz and Mayor Bill de Blasio chose to remove them from the board, six former trustees with the Queens Library filed court documents this week showing the system hired a former federal judge to investigate leaks that led to months of media scrutiny about CEO Thomas Galante’s lofty six-figure salary. Brooklyn Federal Judge Roslynn Mauskopf said Friday she was recusing herself from the trustees’ suit against Katz because … Continue reading

Weiner Readies Rockaway Restaurant

Anthony Weiner is dishing out something new for Rockaway residents. The former congressman and mayoral candidate announced plans to launch a nonprofit restaurant on the Rockaway peninsula and said he was looking to bring a unique brand of eating that residents currently do not see. For the past eight months, Weiner has been working behind the scenes to help launch the Rockaway Restoration Kitchen to serve healthy food options to hungry peninsula patrons while also providing employment options for those … Continue reading