December, 2012

Far Rockaway

Rockaway residents to receive federal disaster food assistance

Some Rockaways residents are eligible to receive temporary food assistance from the federal government following the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, but they will have to travel to Brooklyn in order to apply for the aid. Comment

Sandy opens up new job chances for thousands

At the end of November, the state received a $27 million federal grant to put 5,000 unemployed New Yorkers to work cleaning up after Superstorm Sandy, and by the first week of December the state Department of Labor had received 30,000 applications for those jobs. Comment

Do not let condo, co-op taxes rise

Recent news reports indicating that the state Legislature may not reconvene this year could be bad news for Queens co-op and condo owners. At the end of the legislative session in June, leaders reached a deal to extend and enhance the co-op and condo real property tax abatement, which was due to expire. Comment

What Now?

After Election Day, members of Clergy United for Community Empowerment gathered for a breakfast at the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center in St. Albans sponsored by U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, who was re-elected. Comment

October, 2012

South Ozone Park

Resorts World hosts job fair for thousands seeking work

As the national dialogue focuses on unemployment numbers heading into the presidential election, thousands of residents worked their way into a job fair at Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park Friday. Comment
I Sit and Look Out

Americans must come together and help one another

As a young child growing up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I remember riding the subway and buses. Comments (1)

Blame pols, not rich, for tax rate

Ever since Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his tax return, the interviewers have been asking him and the media has been questioning: Is the tax rate paid by the rich fair? Comment

Keeping a Promise

When Resorts World Casino at the Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park was seeking public support to open the first casino in New York City, it promised locals would get 70 percent of the 850 jobs that would be created. With unemployment in this part of Queens at more than 10 percent, it sounded like a good bet. Comment
Queens Village

Qns Village native nets Nobel Prize

Economist Alvin Roth, a Queens native who currently works as a professor at Stanford University, has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Comment
South Ozone Park

Chef from Astoria wins $1M by playing state’s Powerball

An unemployed Greek chef from Astoria was one of several lucky winners of the New York State Lottery recognized at Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park last Thursday. Comments (1)
South Ozone Park

Resorts World pans criticism of hirings

The city’s first casino is defending its employment numbers after accusations by civic groups that the company did not hire enough employees from Queens. Comment

Salon staff scores settlement

A pair of Flushing nail salon workers scored some payback against an employer who allegedly canned them for complaining about substandard working conditions, they announced this week, setting what one nonprofit called a legal precedent that could change the fortunes for low-wage workers across the city. Comment

Raise minimum wage to help struggling families succeed

More of today’s families need to be two-income households to make ends meet, whether they are single parents, providing homes for older and unemployed children or caring for sick or elderly loved ones. They all need and want many of the same things — especially good jobs. Comment

Food stamp cuts could leave boro poor hungry

With more people falling below the poverty level in Queens, the unemployment rate remaining high and the sluggish economy showing little signs of a turnaround, New York City’s food bank is worried proposed cuts to the national food stamp program could have a devastating impact on the borough’s poor. Comment

September, 2012

Long Island City

Sheet Metal Workers recruit apprentices

The Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local Union No. 137 will conduct a recruitment through Sept. 16, 2013, for 10 sheet metal worker — sign hanger and rigger — apprentices. Comment

A Dollar and a Scheme

On the state government side alone, there is Lotto, Mega Millions, Power Ball, Take Five, Win 4 and more than 60 scratch-off games ranging from $1 to $20. They only make a profit for the state because people lose more than they win. Comment

August, 2012


New owners bring big change to distressed Atlas Park mall

The owners of the Shops at Atlas Park are looking to revitalize the struggling mall with an infusion of new stores — and possibly a new name. Comment
Springfield Gardens

Credit Union opens branch

New York’s oldest credit union, Municipal Credit Union, is opening its first branch in southeast Queens, bringing a financial management option with generally better returns than traditional banks to a neighborhood that is beleaguered with low-income residents and a high number of home foreclosures. Comment
Willets Point

Willets: Possible casino site

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) has mentioned Willets Point as a possible site for a casino should the state Legislature modify New York state’s constitution to legalize the currently taboo activity. Comments (1)

Obama, Romney can’t fix economy

As 2012 moves along, our national economy is not moving at all. We continue to hear reassurances from President Barack Obama that the economy will begin to improve, but he has been telling the American people this for the last four years. Comment

Citizens United a horrible decision

The U.S. Supreme Court, in all its infinite, unbiased wisdom, decided 4-3 that corporations and unions are people and, as such, have free speech and, since money talks, can contribute as much speech as they like toward the candidates of their choice, making voting and buying synonymous. Comment

July, 2012


Take part in the city’s budget process

I invite the community to participate in an experiment in public participation in the city budget. This year, I am allocating $1 million in capital funds for the community to decide how to spend based on local priority needs. Comment

Workers march in Jamaica for living wages

Protesters marched in Jamaica last week to bring attention to a new report highlighting the plight of low-wage workers in the city and one that named a few Queens businesses as some of the biggest offenders. Comment
College Point

Con Ed workers picket with negotiations, heat wave on horizon

Consolidated Edison workers picketed outside several locations in Queens this week, as rising temperatures were set to put a strain on the city’s electrical infrastructure. Comment

Tourism council looks to draw Manhattan visitors to Queens

Of the 50 million visitors to New York City last year, 8 million made the trip to Queens, and Tuesday morning the Queens Tourism Council kicked off a five-month-long initiative designed to increase the borough’s take of tourists and — in particular — the dollars they spend. Comment

June, 2012


Hundreds ready to serve as US Open ballpersons

Hundreds of would-be ballpersons tested their skills during tryouts for the 2012 US Open last Thursday. Comment

Astoria keeps eye on Greece after election

Astoria’s Greek-American elected officials said their constituents remain concerned but hopeful about Greece’s economic future after the nation’s New Democracy Party was elected by a narrow margin on a platform of remaining within the European Union. Comment
Long Island City

LIC students rally for library

Employees from the Queens Library run various classes for little boys and girls, but with its volley last Thursday against Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed cuts, the library taught PS 111 and Voice Charter School students a lesson in protest and metaphor. Comment
South Ozone Park

Resorts World tops all casinos in slot revenue

The casino generating the most money for its state is not in Las Vegas or Atlantic City — it is in Queens. Comments (12)

Pols host job fair for Queens vets back at home

American war veterans often return home to waiting loved ones, but not always to waiting jobs. Comment

Cuomo brings job fair to York College

Job seekers lined up at York College last week to take advantage of one of the 11 job fairs held across the state under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NY Works program. Comment

May, 2012


People suffer while Big Oil prospers

In the May 3-9 edition of the Bayside Times, there was a letter from Joanna Livingstone relating to the March 29 vote to block legislation which would strip billions of dollars in tax breaks for the biggest U.S. oil companies (“Big oil does not deserve more money from government.”). Comment

Postal Facility Saved

The U.S. Postal Service has decided not to shut down the Queens Processing and Distribution Center in College Point, a move that will save more than 700 jobs. Comment

City’s 1% made up 1/3 of 2009 income: Study

The richest 1 percent of New Yorkers received one-third of all city personal income in 2009, almost twice the share prevailing nationally, according to a new report. Comment
College Point

Postal Service keeps Queens center open

Queens elected officials welcomed the U.S. Postal Service’s decision last week to keep the Processing and Distribution Center in College Point open in a move that saved more than 700 jobs in the borough. Comment
College Point

College Point postal center will not close

After months of uncertainty, the U.S. Postal Service has decided not to shut down the Queens Processing and Distribution Center in College Point in a move saving more than 700 jobs, U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) said Friday. Comment

New Yorkers favor increase to state minimum wage: Poll

With just a month to go before the state Legislature breaks for the summer, New Yorkers are strongly in favor of both increasing the minimum wage and cutting taxes on businesses, according to a new Siena Research Institute poll. Comment

Garbage station does not belong near LGA runway

Queens is in the midst of an incredible period of economic growth, with billions of dollars in proposed construction and thousands of new residents expected in the next 20 years. The borough is home to two airports and they are the lifeblood of our local business community. Comment

Bayside’s Ozanam Hall workers union votes to strike

Labor negotiations have not reached a tipping point yet at Bayside’s Ozanam Hall nursing home, but members of the UFCW Local 342 union voted Monday to authorize a strike, the group said. Comment
South Ozone Park

Aqueduct top bosses fired

The New York Racing Association, which oversees the racetrack at Aqueduct, said Friday it fired two top executives after a state report revealed they illegally withheld $8.5 million in bettor winnings. Comment

Ironworkers Local seeks recruits

The Ironworkers Local Union No. 40 and 361 will conduct a recruitment from March 22 through May 24 for 100 ironworker outside apprentices. Comments (2)

Miller pushes for equal pay

In order to start the state in the direction of pay equality, state Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) announced a legislative package that would work to end wage discrimination statewide. The legislation was accompanied by a resolution proclaiming April 17 as Equal Pay Day in the state. Comment

April, 2012


Killer Taxes

Two taxes that have been slamming the average New Yorker need to be reined in. Both taxes make consumers pay a heavy, unreasonable price for what have become routine activities in modern life. Comment
Howard Beach

Addabbo says Cuomo’s cuts go too far

A broad stroke from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s veto pen eliminated funding for too many local community groups, according to state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach). Comment

Prevailing Wage Won’t Prevail

A College Point construction business was ordered to cough up more than $1 million after admitting it failed to pay its workers the “prevailing wage” mandated for any company with a public works contract doing business with the city. Comment
South Ozone Park

MGM calculating odds on city’s second casino

Another player has rolled the dice and is taking a shot at developing a full-fledged casino in New York. Comment

Country needs change

As 2012 moves along, there has been an improvement, ever so slight, in the unemployment figure. Comment

United States has surplus of oil at disposal

Those with the “drill, baby, drill” mentality are either ignorant to the fact that we do not need more oil or are being manipulated and used as shills by the big oil conglomerates in order to increase their unprecedented profits. Comment

Ironworkers Local seeks recruits

The Ironworkers Local Union No. 40 and 361 will conduct a recruitment from March 22 through May 24 for 100 ironworker outside apprentices. Comment

Bring back Glass-Steagall Act

Where is the Glass-Steagall Act when we need it? In 1933, U.S. Sens. Carter Glass (D-Vt.) and Henry Steagall (D-Ala.) introduced the legislation which bears their name. Due largely to unregulated bank market speculation, we suffered the Great Crash of 1929. Comment

Queens Library needs more funds

For 2013, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposes to slash $26.7 million from the Queens Public Library budget. This dramatic reduction in funding is disheartening and borders on outrageous. Comment

March, 2012


Council program puts people to work in 8 weeks

New York is not a big city. We are a patchwork of small towns woven into neighborhoods, stitched together to form boroughs, creating the fabric of what we call the city of New York. Comment

Sheraton hosts Flushing job fair

A group of Flushing organizations will host a job fair and career expo Friday at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel at 10 a.m. Comment

Tip of the week


Crowley has fought closure of boro facility

I was disappointed to read your March 2 editorial “Save the College Point Mail Center,” as you incorrectly characterized my role in fighting the closure of the U.S. Postal Service’s College Point mail facility. Comment

Fixing economy the No. 1 priority

As we continue through 2012 toward the presidential election in November, there is one thing that is definite: This country is still in big economic trouble and things do not seem to be improving at all. Comment

Save the College Point Mail Center

In three months, the U.S. Postal Service plans to close its College Point facility, which employs 1,000 people. The USPS has decided to move the operation to a facility in Brooklyn. Comment

February, 2012


Pension system must be overhauled

The Feb. 2-8 TimesLedger Newspapers article “Fewer pensions costly: Study,” about people not having enough money to retire, raises an interesting question: Whose responsibility is it to make sure you have enough money to retire — you or your employer? Comment
South Ozone Park

Resorts World racino generated $139.9M since October

Racino gambling is a big money and job generator in the Empire State. Comments (1)

Aqueduct convention center not good for Queens

It would create a good feeling if once in a while taxpayer dollars produce a legislator who takes the time to seriously look at an important issue that will affect the residents of this city. Comment

Fight to keep big money out of political campaigns

As we watch the numbers of Occupy Wall Street protesters dwindle, understandably so with the advent of the winter months and cold weather, many may think or even wish that they have gone away, but the 99 percent movement is far from dead. Comment
College Point

USPS to close College Point mail facility

The United States Postal Service has decided to close its College Point sorting facility and move all operations to its Brooklyn location, the agency announced, although Congress has three months to reverse the decision. Comment

Don’t fingerprint over food stamps

In New York state, more than 3 million people are living beneath the federal poverty line. From 2007 to the present, that number has increased by 11 percent, according to federal census data. Comments (9)

Thanks, Governor, Sort Of

The good news is Fresh Direct has decided to relocate to the Bronx. The bad news is Queens will lose 2,000 jobs. Comments (1)

Boro residents welcome deal on foreclosure relief

Relief will soon be on the way for Queens homeowners on the brink of foreclosure and to some who have lost their houses after the federal government and five of the country’s largest mortgage providers reached a $25 billion agreement over foreclosure abuses. Comments (1)

No teacher layoffs in Bloomy’s budget

Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled last Thursday his $68.7 billion budget — a spending plan that has no tax increases or calls for teachers and uniformed city workers to lose their jobs. Comment

Fewer pensions make retirement hard for New Yorkers: Study

More and more New Yorkers cannot afford to retire and a principal reason is that dwindling numbers of people have pensions, according to a new study. Comment

Bloomy touts tax programs for city’s needy

As New Yorkers await the arrival of their W-2s, Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited a Corona church Monday to promote the city’s multiple free tax preparation sites and a multi-city program that can make tax returns for the city’s poorest residents go further. Comments (2)

January, 2012


New prez needed despite unemployment drop

As January 2012 progresses, the fact that 200,000 new jobs were created in December and that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.5 percent still does not indicate a trend toward the end of this very long and devastating economic recession. Comments (2)

‘Occupy’ movement rides rails to Astoria

The next time you ride an N, a Q or an R train, it might be Occupied. Comment

Trash These Fines

The punishment should fit the crime. Fining law-abiding citizens up to $300 because they put their trash cans out too early in the day is nuts. Comment
South Ozone Park

Raise NY gambling age to 21: Addabbo

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) said he supports raising the legal age to gamble to 21 from 18, saying the move would limit the number of youngsters with gambling addictions. Comments (1)

Convention center in Queens will create needed jobs

In 1935, at the height of the Great Depression, a group of retired policemen came together to organize one of the largest international expositions the world had ever seen. The end goal: to lift the city out of an economic depression. Comment

Economy adds 200K jobs in December

The country’s unemployment rate dropped for the fourth straight month to a three-year low of 8.5 percent in December, according to statistics released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor. Comment
Long Island City

Laborers recruit apprentices

The District Council 16 Cement and Concrete Workers Training and Education Fund will conduct a recruitment from Jan. 3 to 17 for 15 skilled construction craft laborer apprentices. Comment

Gov’t must cut spending for sake of next generation

As I have made clear from Day 1, the main reason I got into politics is out of concern for the future of our nation. As a grandfather of 13, my priority is to improve our economy by helping foster an environment where businesses can create lasting jobs and address our national debt crisis so our children and grandchildren can prosper in this country. Comment
South Ozone Park

Cuomo wants convention center at Aqueduct racino

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he wants the Aqueduct racino in South Ozone Park to be the site of the nation’s largest convention center during his State of the State address Wednesday. Comment


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