December, 2013


Tip of the week


Less gov’t means more problems for people

Another week, another dose of libertarian nonsense from frequent letter writer Ed Konecnik, who seems to think that freedoms are taken away by fair tax laws, welfare, food stamps and anything the government does to assist the folks who need a helping hand. Comments (4)
Long Island City

Queens economy on a roll

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli presented a new study that shows Queens has weathered the recession and is now a model of recovery that the rest of the state can learn from. Comments (1)

City looks to extend hotel tax as Queens heads new boom

Queens is leading the outerboroughs in the current hotel building boom, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to ensure that visitors to the Big Apple’s hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfasts continue to fill the city’s tax coffers. Comments (4)

November, 2013

I Sit and Look Out

Statistics could prove we are the Last Lucky Generation

One night, many years ago, a friend of ours said to me, “We are the last lucky generation.” Comments (3)

October, 2013


Panelists address workplace obstacles for women

More than a hundred women took part in a daylong World of Working Women Conference & Job Fair at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing last Friday. Comment

Tip of the week


Government employees join Maloney in shutdown protest

Scores of idled Internal Revenue Service workers and other government employees demonstrated Monday in Midtown Manhattan in an appeal for an end to the congressional stalemate that has shut down the federal government and shared stories of the resulting financial strain. Comment
The Civic Scene

City should stop hurting small businesses with tickets

It seems that often our government and its agencies do the stupidest things, which eventually hurt the economy and the people they are supposed serve. Comment

September, 2013


Queens Booms With Construction

The magic number for Queens these days seems to be 24. In the last week, it was revealed that a new 24-story hotel is headed for downtown Jamaica while the owner of the Rego Park mall is moving ahead with plans to put 24 floors of apartments above the shopping mecca. Comments (1)

Council biased in favor of Willets development

A recent TimesLedger Newspapers article (“Parking permit is crux of Willets Point redux,” Sept. 6-12) mentions a public hearing held Sept. 3 by the City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises. The article focussed on the developers’ decision to seek a special permit for parking at Willets Point, but omitted other newsworthy aspects of the hearing. Comment

August, 2013


City must reject plan for mall at Willets Point

In 2008, the Bloomberg administration declared 62 acres of property in Flushing to the east of Citi Field called Willets Point, on which there were more than 200 small auto businesses as well as others, a blight. Comments (1)

July, 2013


Turn Shops at Atlas Park into community center

The Shops at Atlas Park mall have not received an auspicious beginning. Almost from the time they opened their doors, the local media started adopting a bipolar attitude. Comments (2)
New Voices

Workers in South Asian community hit hard by recession

Though most Queens residents have felt the impact of the recession, not all are affected equally. The South Asian community, especially new immigrants, have not fared well in this economic climate. Comment

USTA gives boro first crack at annual job fair for Open

A job fair open exclusively to Queens residents last week drew hundreds hoping to score a slot at the upcoming US Open. Comment

June, 2013


Sequester hurts gov’t workers

I am a member of the American Federation of Government Employees and a hardworking federal employee at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in New York City. I work on a daily basis as a compliance specialist protecting the public from violations of environmental law. Comments (2)
East Elmhurst

East Elmhurst car washers form city’s first union

Workers at an East Elmhurst car wash celebrated a historic contract this week after becoming the first unionized car wash east of Los Angeles. Comment

May, 2013

Long Island City

Hundreds wait on line in LIC for elevator repair jobs

They waited for line for days, sleeping in tents as it rained, saving spots so their comrades could use the restrooms, watching for line jumpers and forming allegiances so strong they nicknamed themselves the Spartans. Comment
Jamaica Hills

Addabbo pushes to restore disabilities funding

A state senator from Queens has joined a number of other legislators in Albany in a fight to restore program funding for people with developmental disabilities that was controversially cut from the budget earlier this year. Comment

April, 2013

Fresh Meadows

Fresh Meadows woman wins on quiz show

Rebecca Rider did not consider herself a huge fan of game shows — that is, until she won more than $100,000 on one of the genre’s most popular programs. Comments (1)
Fresh Meadows

Budget voting begins in District 23

Some residents who live in Hollis Hills, Fresh Meadows, Oakland Gardens and other neighborhoods in City Council District 23 will soon have the chance to vote on how to spend $1 million in the community through a process called participatory budgeting. City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) has allocated the money from his discretionary budget for the process, and residents have been developing the proposals that will be voted on since last fall. Comment

Council should pass paid sick leave

It is time for paid sick leave to become law in New York. We should no longer force parents to choose between holding their jobs and caring for loved ones, especially young children. While paid sick leave would enable fathers to lean in by pitching in during family illness, it will especially be a godsend to single mothers. Comment

March, 2013

Jamaica Hills

Queens Center for Progress worried about proposed cuts

A Jamaica Hills nonprofit dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities is worried it may have to lay off some of its staff and scale back its programs if cuts Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed in his budget go into effect. Comments (2)

February, 2013

Richmond Hill

Queens food pantries fearing cuts to hunger funding

Since the start of the recession, River Fund Executive Director Swami Durga Das said he has seen the families coming to his Richmond Hill food pantry nearly double and he worries that planned state and federal cuts could make the problem worse. Comment
Rockaway Beach

City Council to investigate property tax hikes

The City Council announced this week that it will hold an emergency hearing to investigate reports that numerous people whose homes were damaged in Hurricane Sandy, including some who live in the Rockaways, have had their property tax assessments raised. Comments (1)

Queens living costs fifth highest in U.S.

Queens ranks as one of the top five most expensive urban areas in the country as detailed by a City Council report on the city’s middle class released this month. Comment
Rockaway Park

Quinn questions Con Ed plan to raise rates after superstorm

Consolidated Edison is proposing rate increases for its customers that it says would help allay the costs of protecting equipment against severe storms such as Hurricane Sandy, but City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) said this week she was deeply troubled by the plan. Comments (1)

January, 2013


Raise minimum wage above $8.50

As we start a new year and take a hard look at the city’s economic situation, a glaring need presents itself: In order to help rebuild our middle class, we need to help the working poor climb out of poverty by raising the minimum wage. Comment
Far Rockaway

City’s Sandy food stamp program reached few

Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved $13 million in disaster food aid benefits for victims of Hurricane Sandy, state data show far less money was actually delivered to a fraction of families eligible for the program — a revelation some critics say points to a gross failure on the part of the city. Comments (1)


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