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Government

September, 2018

Sunnyside

Electeds celebrate new traffic signal installed near PS 343 in Sunnyside

A new traffic signal at 47th Avenue and 42nd Street in Sunnyside had been in the works for over three years, ever since a new school, PS 343, was built near the northeast corner of the intersection. Comment

City View Inn welcomes homeless families

The city Department of Homeless Services met its goal of converting Blissville’s City View Inn into a full service shelter by the start of the 2018-19 school year, bringing the five-block community in Long Island City one step closer to hosting three facilities as part of the mayor’s Turning the Tide on Homelessness initiative. Comments (4)
Elmhurst

Stop work order issued at Target construction site in Elmhurst

The city Department of Buildings issued a stop work order as of Aug. 29 on the controversial development at 82nd Street and Baxter Avenue in Elmhurst after the application to have the plot rezoned was challenged in City Council. Comments (1)
East Elmhurst

Mayor signs legislation to bring speed cameras back to monitor streets near city schools

Speed cameras are monitoring city streets near schools once again as 1.1 million students return from summer break after Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s compromise to keep the program alive. Comments (2)
Corona

Fatal accident on Northern Boulevard renews calls for street redesign

Northern Boulevard is being called the “New Boulevard of Death” by safe street activists, who have increased pressure on the city to deliver a comprehensive safety redesign along the roadway which claimed the life of a fourth pedestrian this year during the weekend. Comments (6)
Sunnyside

Civic leader calls for reform to affordable housing laws in light of Sunnyside development

After a listing on NYC Housing Connect showed an affordable housing development in Sunnyside would cost potential renters $2,251 for a one-bedroom apartment, civic leader Brent O’Leary called for reforms to the metric used to calculate the rates of rent-subsidized units. Comments (1)
Middle Village

Electeds call for expedited sewer work in Middle Village

City and state officials were shocked at the level of damage to homes that had ensued from stalled storm sewer upgrades in Middle Village as they toured 74th Street south of Pleasantview Street Tuesday. Comment
Jackson Heights

Restaurant staffers must get minimum wage: Moya

City Councilman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights) is calling for a sweeping change to how restaurant wait staff is paid across New York by issuing a resolution for the state Department of Labor to abolish tipped wages and raise workers up to the full minimum wage of other employees. Comments (2)
Glendale

Meng wants freight trains to cover waste loads

Legislation drafted by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) would require freight trains to put a cover over loads of trash and other forms of debris to benefit the people in the southern half of her district. Comments (10)

August, 2018

Editorial

The only move

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order this week to reinstate the city’s school zone speed camera program in a move that made too much sense not to do. Comments (2)
After repeated calls for the state Senate to reconvene and pass legislation funding and expanding a speed camera program at schools, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order Monday to reinstate the safety measures discontinued in July. Comment
Bayside

Flight patterns shaving a year off life of northeast Queens residents: Study

Elected officials may have more concrete fodder in their fight against airplane noise above northeast Queens with the release of a Columbia University study that claims the raucous flight patterns could be shaving a year of life off residents below. Comments (6)
Letters

No term limits for community boards

The NYC Charter Revision Commission is currently considering various changes to the city charter that would amend various governmental practices in our city. Comments (2)
Long Island City

Health Department commissioner resigns from post

City Health Commissioner Mary Bassett is stepping down from her position with the de Blasio administration in favor of an opportunity with Harvard University. Comments (2)
Glendale

Pols slam possible homeless shelter plan for Glendale

Lawmakers in Queens are speaking out against a new shelter that may possibly be slated for Glendale that will accommodate 200 single men in one location. Comments (3)
Sunnyside

Sunnyside arch shines with fresh sign, new lights

The late Lily Gavin remained on the minds of civic leaders last week as a new sign with fresh lighting illuminated the 46th Street arch in Sunnyside. Comments (1)
On Point

Cuomo, de Blasio not helping the average ‘Joe’

Many of New York’s working-class citizens feel forgotten and betrayed by a mayor and City Council not interested in their daily struggles to make ends meet, but instead obsess over preventing deportation of illegal immigrants who have been arrested or convicted of various crimes. Comments (11)

July, 2018

Elmhurst

Developer withdraws from 82nd Street rezoning

Activists were celebrating a victory over developers following the announcement Sun Equity would withdraw its rezoning application for a 13-story partial affordable housing structure in Elmhurst with Target on the ground level. Comments (1)
Astoria

Attorney general celebrates victory on census immigration question

State Attorney General Barbara Underwood celebrated a victory in her quest to prevent immigrants from having to declare their legal status in the United States census on the grounds that the Trump administration acted in bad faith in requiring that information. Comments (3)
Broadway-Flushing

Broadway-Flushing Homeowners’ Association welcomes new president

The Broadway-Flushing Homeowners’ Association welcomed a new president in Kevin Morris, who will be a familiar face after the many years he has served in the neighborhood organization. Comments (3)

June, 2018

Douglaston

Douglaston residents protest for a safer Northern Boulevard bike lane

Nearly 100 members of the Douglaston Civic Association marched along the protected bike lane on Northern Boulevard Saturday demanding that the city make what they see as common-sense changes. Comments (2)
When Gelasio Reyes was struck and killed by a drunk driver at the intersection of 43rd Avenue and 39th Street in Sunnyside in April 2017, it set off a chain of events rarely seen in the tight-knit neighborhood. Twelve days later, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) spoke at a rally for the 32-year-old father of three and a second cyclist who was critically injured at the same intersection just days later. Comments (12)
Howard Beach

State Senate approves bill to create grant program for municipalities to hire veterans

Legislation that would create a grant program for municipalities that hire veterans has been approved by the state Senate. Comments (1)
Sunnyside

Community Board 2 shoots down DOT’s revised bike lane plan for Sunnyside

The majority vote at Community Board 2’s June 7 meeting went against the city Transportation Department’s revised bike lane proposal for Skillman Avenue and 43rd Avenue in Sunnyside. Comment
Corona

Agreement reached to bring polling sites back to LeFrak City complex

Residents of LeFrak City appear to have their polling sites back at their sprawling residential complex in Corona after a year-long battle with the city’s Board of Elections. In the summer of 2017, LeFrak City tenants learned that their polling place -- containing five different election districts -- would be moved from within the complex’s Continental Room, where they had been voting for more than 50 years, to schools three-quarters of a mile away. Comment
Edgemere

New building with 100 percent affordable housing breaks ground in Far Rockaway

City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) joined L+M Development Partners, Triangle Equities and city officials to break ground on a 100 percent affordable housing development in Far Rockaway last Friday. Comments (2)
Long Island City

Gianaris urges passage of bill to penalize drivers with suspended licenses after fatal collision in LIC

In the wake of another fatal traffic crash in Long Island City, state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) is urging action, calling on the Assembly to pass his legislation to penalize reckless motorists. Comments (2)
Jackson Heights

Crowley introduces bill to hold ICE, Border Patrol agents accountable

Sending a message that it is time to push back against the broad autonomy given to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in their ongoing crackdown on immigrants, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) announced new legislation last Friday that would mandate stricter scrutiny and oversight of ICE agents and CBP officers by establishing a formal record-keeping process of all stops and searches by the two agencies. Comments (6)

Mayor demands speed camera expansion as program is due to expire

With the city’s school zone speed camera program set to expire in Albany next month, Mayor Bill de Blasio called on the state legislature Wednesday to immediately reauthorize and expand the life-saving strategy. Comments (2)
Long Island City

City presents latest proposal for pedestrian and cyclist safety at LaGuardia Community College

Officials at LaGuardia Community College have been pressing the city for safety improvements along a dangerous three-way intersection in front of their Long Island City campus where a 16-year-old high school student was struck and killed in 2013. Comment
Editorial

Greener pastures?

New York City lawmakers and the NYPD are making an effort to review polices governing low-level marijuana offenders, which they believe would lead to declining prosecution rates. Comment

May, 2018

Hollis

Comrie advances voting bills, introduces MTA track study legislation

Throughout May, state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) has advanced and introduced new bills that would ease access to voting and protect voters’ rights, and conduct studies on track side hazards along MTA’s railroads. Comments (1)
Astoria

Maloney, Simotas honor three ‘exceptional’ Astoria women

State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) and U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) hosted their annual luncheon last Friday to celebrate women’s history and honor three exceptional women from the neighborhood for their commitment to community service. Comment
Astoria

Maloney pushes Justice official on Census

The acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has agreed to testify -- again --about adding a controversial question on citizenship to the Census after U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) demanded that he appear following his decision to skip an earlier hearing. Comments (4)
Sunnyside

Mayor signs multiple bills to combat sexual harassment in public, private sectors

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed 11 bills last week to combat sexual harassment in the workplace in both the private and public sector with support from Queens’ delegates, other elected officials throughout the city and first lady Chirlane McCray. Comments (2)
Ozone Park

Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law now in effect in New York City

The Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law is now in effect as of Monday, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas. Comment
Long Island City

Blissville residents rally against third homeless shelter in their neighborhood

Calling the city’s plan to open a third shelter in a seven-block area of their isolated neighborhood “a threat to the very fabric of our community,” Blissville residents rallied outside the Mayor’s residence at Gracie Mansion Monday morning. Comments (4)
Sunnyside

Electeds object to city’s plan to move forward with planning for Sunnyside Yards development

Elected officials in western Queens are united in staunch opposition to the de Blasio administration’s plan to build a deck over much of the 180-acre Sunnyside Yard and construct a small city with 24,000 apartments at a cost of $19 billion. Comments (1)
Several Queens lawmakers are relieved that Eric Schneiderman resigned as state attorney general just hours after his alleged violence towards four women were exposed in The New Yorker magazine Monday. Queens’ newest assemblywoman, Ari Espinal (D-Jackson Heights), who won her seat in the special election last month, supported the women who came forward against Schneiderman in the exposé. Comment
Eric Schneiderman resigned as the New York attorney general Monday night just three hours after the release of a scandalous exposé in The New Yorker magazine revealed allegations of physical violence against women. Comments (1)

April, 2018

St. Albans

Adams trumpets passage of sexual harassment legislation in return to Community Board 12

City Councilwoman Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica) was greeted with cheers as she made her return to the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center in St. Albans for a meeting with Community Board 12, a board she use to chair before taking up elected office. Comments (1)
Ozone Park

Ulrich pushes for expanded sanitation services on Jamaica Avenue

City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) has funded another clean-up project, this time expanding sanitation services along Jamaica Avenue to seven days a week. Comments (2)

Report shows that New York City poverty rates are down

Poverty rates across the city are down, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Comments (2)
Long Island City

Renovations to basketball courts, playground at Queensbridge Houses are underway

The basketball courts and playground at the Queensbridge Houses are about to get a complete overhaul. Comment
Political Action

Changing the terms of office for federal executives

Our president is restricted to two four-year terms in office. It was the tradition in the U.S. government before it became law with the 22nd Amendment. Comment
Astoria

Senate passes Gianaris bill that would enforce harsher penalties on drivers who kill, injure pedestrians

Almost a half decade has passed since state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) first introduced legislation that would toughen penalties on drivers without valid licenses who kill or injure pedestrians, cyclists or other motorists and the measure was approved unanimously Monday by the state Senate. The bill now awaits action in the state Assembly, where it sits in the Codes Committee. Comments (2)
East Elmhurst

ICE agents arrest 40 in Queens as part of six-day operation

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removal teams arrested nearly 200 people in New York City — including 40 in Queens — during a six-day sweep the agency called “Operation Keep Safe.” Comments (11)
East Elmhurst

Veterans get housing area of their own at Rikers Island

The city Department of Correction has opened the first housing area exclusively for military veterans at its Rikers Island prison complex, and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced city jails will house inmates according to their gender identity as a safe housing option for transgender prisoners. Comment
Flushing

Flushing-born Barbara Bush dead at 92

Flushing-born Former First Lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday following a battle with an unspecified illness. She was 92. Comments (3)
Arverne

Far Rockaway to get expanded health center while losing transit option

Elected officials and community leaders joined Denham Wolf Real Estate Services Tuesday to break-ground for the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center expansion project in Averne. Comment
Survivors of sex trafficking joined U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) for a rally on the steps of City Hall Monday celebrating the FBI’s seizure and shutdown of Backpage.com and other websites that allegedly help those engaged in human trafficking. Comments (1)
St. Albans

Queens residents vote on projects during Participatory Budgeting Week

Residents throughout Queens, including those in District 27 who are represented by City Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans), have until Sunday to make sure their voices are heard for their area’s Participatory Budgeting Week. Comment

Schneiderman leads coalition fight against Trump travel ban

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, leading a coalition of 17 attorneys general around the nation, filed a new amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court last Friday opposing President Donald Trump’s third travel ban. The brief supports Hawaii’s case against the Trump administration. Comment
New Voices

Queens immigration advocates blast change to 2020 U.S. Census

Last week Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross skirted an April 1 deadline and consented to a request from the U.S. Justice Department to add a question on citizenship status to the 2020 U.S. Census. Across the borough, immigration activists are furious at the political implications of the move and have voiced concerns over the integrity of the data that is to be collected as immigrants may question the confidentiality of the data. Comments (3)
Astoria

Cuomo releases state budget with emphasis on city improvements

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced details of the fiscal year 2019 state budget with a message that tightened oversight of City Hall and stood defiant against the administration in Washington. Comment

IBO claims state budget proposal pushes out key juvenile justice program

The city Independent Budget Office is claiming Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal will not only provide major setbacks for child services, but also affect its juvenile justice programs. Comment
Far Rockaway

Rockaway economy sees boom mixed with remaining Sandy-related issues: DiNapoli

Business is booming in the Rockaways following Superstorm Sandy, but there is still much work to be done by those who have returned to the peninsula after the disaster, a new report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says. Comment

March, 2018

Jamaica

Peralta renews call for passage of Carlos’ Law after construction worker dies in Jamaica

A Jackson Heights nonprofit and state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) demanded a full investigation into the death of Edgar Pazmino, a construction worker killed at his workplace in Jamaica earlier in March. Comment
Long Island City

Legislation drawn up after the death of Avonte Oquendo is now law

Children with autism who are prone to wandering and seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia will be provided with voluntary tracking devices and expanded support services for their families after President Trump signed the $1.3 trillion federal spending omnibus bill Friday. Comment
Letters

Demand more women lawmakers in city government

Susan B. Anthony said in 1897, “There will never be complete equality until women themselves help make laws and elect lawmakers.” Comments (7)

New York one of 12 states planning to sue Trump administration over adding citizenship question to census

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) blasted the Trump administration’s decision to include a question regarding citizenship on the 2020 US Census. Comments (8)
East Elmhurst

Mayor: 2017 was city’s safest traffic year on record

New York City saw its safest traffic year on record in 2017 with the fourth straight year of fatality declines, according to a City Hall Vision Zero review released last Friday. Since Mayor Bill de Blasio’s traffic safety initiative began in 2014, the city’s traffic fatalities have declined 28 percent with a 45 percent drop in pedestrian fatalities, bucking national fatality trends, which have increased 15 percent over the same period. Comments (2)
Flushing

Kim pushes bill to protect NYC taxi drivers

State Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) went to Albany last week to push for the passing of the Taxi Driver Protection Act. Comment
Mayor Bill de Blasio last week urged lawmakers in Albany to put aside politics and pass tougher state laws to keep dangerous drivers off the streets after two children were killed in a crash in Park Slope earlier this month. Comments (2)
Sunnyside

New park will be great victory for Sunnyside and Woodside: Van Bramer

The city is moving forward with plans to acquire a one-acre parcel of land in Sunnyside Gardens that was abandoned in the mid-’80s and repurpose the private site as public park space, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) announced Monday. Comments (1)
Astoria

Gianaris urges Albany to act on gun violence with longer background checks

In the aftermath of the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting, state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) says it time for action and is calling on Senate Republicans to support inclusion of his Effective Background Checks Act in the 2018-19 New York State Budget. Comment
The City Council plans to launch a probe into the real estate venture formerly run by White House adviser Jared Kushner that allegedly falsified documents on rent stabilized tenants in three Astoria buildings as well as numerous other locations around the city. Comment
The public took turns lashing out against a homeless shelter slated for Blissville at a public hearing on week by the city Department of Homeless Services at St. Rafael’s church. Comment
Whitestone

Suozzi backs Vallone resolution to reduce helicopter noise

U.S. Rep Tom Suozzi (D-Little Neck) has backed a city resolution to amend a route allowing helicopters to fly low over northeast Queens, specifically Whitestone, for the health and environmental impact it has on the residents along the shore. Comments (5)
Hunters Point

Hunters Point community calls on city to improve safety on Center Boulevard

Hunters Point community members and children from area schools rallied with City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) March 9 on Center Boulevard as he renewed his call for the city’s Department of Transportation to implement comprehensive traffic calming measures along the stretch of road on Long Island City’s waterfront. Comment
East Elmhurst

Senate passes Peralta legislation to make organ donor registration easier

Legislation that would make it easier for New Yorkers to become organ donors was passed by the state Senate Monday. Comments (1)
Ozone Park

Cold war vets may get property tax exemption with new bill

A pair of Republican city lawmakers joined together to introduce a bill which will qualify Cold War veterans for a tax exemption currently only reserved for those who served in a “specified period of conflict.” Comment
Jamaica

DSS Commissioner addresses homeless crisis in Queens

City council members throughout Queens were at Borough Hall in Kew Gardens Monday to learn more about the homeless crisis in the county and the city from the Department of Social Services Commissioner Steve Banks , Comments (4)
Jackson Heights

Crowley visits Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights to discuss gun control issues with students

A day before they took part in the national walkout to protest congressional inaction on gun violence at schools, students at the Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights held a roundtable discussion with U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights). Comment
The borough’s tourism industry received a boost when travel guide publisher Lonely Planet named Queens the No. 1 tourist destination in the United States in 2015 and legislation is making its way through Albany to provide funding that would further promote the brand. Comments (2)
Long Island City

Van Bramer meets with Bard High School student who will protest Congress’ inaction on gun control

Students at Bard High School Early College in Long Island City will take part in a national walkout March 14 to protest federal inaction on gun violence following the mass shooting that claimed 17 lives last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Women’s March youth chapters across the country are calling for students to walk out of their schools at 10 a.m. to “protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers after school shootings,” according to their website. Comments (1)
Long Island City

Blissville residents speak out against homeless shelters in neighborhood

As the city prepares to convert a second hotel into a temporary shelter for the homeless in the Blissville section of Long Island City, the Department of Homeless Services is organizing a public hearing focused on the new borough-based facility at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott. Comments (1)
Flushing

Kim asks Trump to tone down rhetoric on North Korea

After months of issuing vague threats, state Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) and fellow Korean-American leaders are asking that President Donald Trump tone down his rhetoric and seek peace with North Korean dictator Kim Jung-Un. Comments (6)
Woodside

City will install traffic calming measures at Woodside school

The city has agreed to bring traffic calming measures to a dangerous stretch of Skillman Avenue in Woodside to protect students at the newly expanded P.S. 11 in Woodside. Comment
In the ongoing mission to lower the city’s prison population which would allow for the closing of Rikers Island, the city is hailing a mentoring program for young people on probation that significantly reduces recidivism, according to a multi-year independent study, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week. Comment
Astoria

Steinway Street makeover starts with safety measures

The first phase of the Steinway Street improvement plan will soon be implemented as the city’s Department of Transportation plans to install three mid-block crosswalks and traffic signals between 30th and 34th avenues. Comment
Long Island City

City takes over Long Island City’s Fairfield Inn to house homeless families

The city will begin sheltering adult homeless families at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott in the Blissville section of Long Island City later this month. Comments (4)

Senate Republicans block Gianaris’ Effective Background Checks Act

In the wake of several protests in response the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., New York State Republicans Wednesday rejected four proposals aimed at improving gun safety. Comments (2)
Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner David Hansell issued a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and members of the state Legislature to illustrate the impact of the state’s fiscal year 2019 budget, which would put a cap on funds for city social work. Comment
Astoria

Illuminated billboard sparks controversy

The MTA is under fire again in Astoria, not for subway station reconstruction projects or the signal malfunctions that caused delays along the N/W line week, but for a massive illuminated sign hanging over one of the most dangerous intersections in the borough. Comments (3)

February, 2018

Long Island City

City’s plan for massive project on LIC waterfront draws rebuke from Van Bramer

The city will have to make some changes to its plan to allow a developer to build a massive 1,000 unit residential complex on public land along the Long Island City waterfront, according to City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside). Comments (1)
Astoria

Simotas urges passing of her legislation to preserve rape kits, increase protections for sexual assault survivors

Sexual assault survivors would have a greater opportunity to seek justice and expand their rights under proposed legislation authored by state Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) and she urged its passage during a bi-partisan news conference in Albany last week. Comment
Bayside

Assembly passes bill to curb PD sexual misconduct

A Bayside lawmaker’s bill passed unanimously in the state Assembly that would make any sexual activity between peace officers and those in their custody a felony due the “power dynamic” distorting what it means to consent in that situation. Comment
Astoria

Simotas introduces new family-friendly legislation

Parents and caregivers with small babies and toddlers would have easier access to places of entertainment under legislation written and introduced by state Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) which will make spaces more accommodating and family friendly. Comments (1)
Ridgewood

Ridgewood Reservoir added to the National Register of Historic Places

“Having the Ridgewood Reservoir recognized on the New York State Historic Register back in December, and now having it listed on the National Register of Historic Places is an amazing achievement,” state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) said. “I am pleased to see that the National Park Service moved so quickly to place the Ridgewood Reservoir on the list, officially preserving its natural beauty, its historic context to Brooklyn and Queens, and its educational importance for future generations.” Comment
Opinion

Richmond Hill residents to receive tax-prep help

Richmond Hill is underserved by government agencies, while community organizations struggle under a dearth of funding. Yet, despite this benign neglect, the neighborhood has swelled in population, sustained by immigration that has increased the Indo-Caribbean and South Asian community. The neighborhood features a robust variety of small businesses, with a high level of homeownership. However, the need for services has never been higher. Comments (1)
Long Island City

Parents, elected officials renew call for play street after third rejection from City

Students at an overcrowded Long Island City elementary school located at 48-09 Center Boulevard are not getting enough exercise because their playground is too small to accommodate proper recess. Comment
Astoria

Hallets Point project in Astoria on hold once again

Construction of the massive Hallets Point development in Astoria has stalled after City Hall pulled funding for Building 7, a 14-story structure with all of its 163 units set to be below-market-rate housing. The Housing Development Corporation diverted the $43.5 million in funding to other projects in November, so while work continues on Building 1 at the site, the Durst Corporation suspended construction of the other six buildings at the complex along the East River, putting the remainder of the project in limbo. Comment
Astoria

Gianaris calls on legislature to enact tougher penalties on unlicensed drivers

In the wake of a fatal car crash that took the life of a 13-year-old Ridgewood boy, state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) is calling on his colleagues to pass his bill that would increase the penalty when a driver kills or seriously injures someone while driving with a suspended or invalid license. Comments (1)
East Elmhurst

Peralta teams with Urban Upbound to offer free tax return prep services

As the 2018 tax season got underway last week, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) launched free tax preparation services at his district office on Junction Boulevard. Comment
Astoria

Simotas seeks safer packaging for toxic laundry pods

A Queens lawmaker is leading the fight against a corporate giant for endangering the health and welfare of children as well as seniors suffering from dementia. Comment
Kew Gardens

Queens DA briefs elected officials on successful 2017

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown briefed the borough’s elected officials at his 26th legislative breakfast, held at his Kew Gardens offices last Friday. Comment
Affordable housing is finally coming to Willets Point. Comments (10)
Douglaston

CB11 approves variance for Lowe’s in Douglaston

Members of Community Board 11 narrowly passed a variance on Feb. 5 that will allow owners of Douglaston Plaza to oust a MovieWorld from the shopping center and replace it, along with a recently closed Macy’s, with a Lowe’s home improvement store. Comments (5)
Flushing

Derelict property in Flushing rankles residents

Residents outraged over a long-abandoned Flushing home gathered at a news conference hosted by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) on Jan. 26, at which he called on the city to consider demolishing the house that one neighbor referred to as an “attractive nuisance.” Comment
Flushing

Extensive construction work on the LIE in Flushing is complete

A major construction project on three bridges at the Long Island Expressway and Grand Central Parkway interchange just south of the World’s Fair site at Flushing Meadows Corona Park has been completed nine months earlier than anticipated, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday. Comment
Jamaica

Meeks, Crowley, Meng work together to fight poor USPS service

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) wrote some fiery words last week in a letter to Megan Brennan, the postmaster general of the United States, in regard to his constituents’ receiving late mail or mail meant for someone else. Comments (2)
East Elmhurst

Peralta’s annual coat drive distributes more than 1,600 jackets to people in need

More than 1,600 winter coats were distributed to families and people in need after state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) teamed up with Burlington Coat Factory, Delta Airlines, Delivering Good and New York Cares during his 7th annual coat drive. In the past eight years more than 10,000 coats were delivered to local and faith-based organizations. Comment
Flushing

Latimer Gardens Housing Complex polling site set to re-open

After being closed since 2012, the polling site at Latimer Gardens housing complex in Flushing will re-open. Comment
Oakland Gardens

DSNY incentive program could include fee for garbage pickup

The city Department of Sanitation has hired a consultant to draft a proposal to offer incentives for homeowners to recycle garbage and while possibly including a nominal fee. Comments (1)
Long Island City

Long Island City restaurant owner pleads guilty to giving bribes to City Hall

The owner of the now-defunct Water’s Edge restaurant in Long Island City, who was a campaign donor of Mayor Bill de Blasio, pleaded guilty to federal charges in a bribery attempt involving an unnamed city official, newly unsealed court records show. Comments (1)
Astoria

Scammers impersonating Social Security officials are out to steal identities: Gianaris

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) issued a warning to New York consumers Monday about a new scam recently uncovered by the Federal Trade Commission in which imposters are tricking people into sharing their Social Security numbers over the phone and through a website. Callers claiming to be representatives of the Social Security Administration are contacting consumers, claiming a computer glitch requires them to ask for their Social Security numbers. Comment
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) did not hold back against President Donald Trump at a Saturday town hall event at York College in Jamaica. Comments (2)
Astoria

Gianaris, Addabbo push for reforms of state’s election laws

Several Queens lawmakers are resuming efforts towards voter reform in Albany with a package of bills that would improve turnout at the polls in New York where it is among the lowest in the country. Less than 22 percent of the city’s 5 million registered voters went to the polls in November. Comment
Kew Gardens

Queens DA’s chief spokesman Kevin Ryan retires

The communications director of the Queens District Attorney’s Office retired after 42 years of handling public information for city and state agencies. Kevin Ryan, 64, worked his last day Wednesday as District Attorney Richard Brown’s chief spokesman at the Kew Gardens headquarters. Comment
Several dozen Woodside business owners and residents joined City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) outside Donovan’s Pub on Roosevelt Avenue last week and called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to stop holding the neighborhood hostage, as they put it, as the agency continues to work on the No. 7 subway line. Comment

January, 2018

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Flushing) has introduced a bill that aims to increase the number of women on state public boards. Comment
Astoria

Simotas announces $1 million investment in further Mount Sinai Queens expansion

Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) secured $1 million in capital funding for three projects at Mount Sinai Queens in Astoria that she nominated for support from the New York State Assembly. The investment helps further the expansion that built a five-story Pavilion with new operating suites, facilities for primary care and an expanded emergency room with an off-street ambulance bay. Comment
St. Albans

Miller gets new term as chairman of Civil Service and Labor Committee

Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) has been reappointed as the chairman of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor. He was also appointed to the Committees on Land Use, Public Safety and Immigration and the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses. Comments (1)
Long Island City

NYPD closes down Long Island City strip club

A Long Island City strip joint was closed down last Friday by members of the NYPD vice squad by order of the Queens Supreme Court. Comments (1)
Bayside

Bayside pols oppose proposal to expand government use of Fort Totten

Elected officials in Bayside have sounded the alarm about a study being conducted by the city at Fort Totten to possibly expand the footprint of agencies operating there by creating training facilities for the Department of Corrections and the New York Fire Department. Comments (1)
Long Island City

Homeless families uprooted from Long Island City shelter with short notice

The city’s Department of Homeless Services has come under fire for suddenly moving 54 families out of a temporary shelter at a Long Island City hotel to make room for homeless men. Comments (1)
Elmhurst

Dromm, Asian Americans for Equality help small businesses hurt by water main break

Several small businesses were flooded in parts of Jackson Heights and Elmhurst on Jan. 12 when an 80-year-old water main broke open at Broadway and 74th Street. Many of the businesses that were not damaged by the flood lost revenue because of street closures, emergency vehicles and repairs during the cleanup effort. Comment
A large family that has been tormented by an infestation of cockroaches in its Queensbridge Houses apartment since July 2016 is now at the top of a waiting list for a new apartment in Queens, according to the New York City Housing Authority, but five-bedroom apartments are rare in public housing, with only one available in the borough last year. Comments (10)
Kew Gardens

Katz previews Friday’s State of the Borough address

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz offered a preview of her State of the Borough address she will deliver Friday in Astoria during a press briefing at Borough Hall Tuesday. Comment
Long Island City is still in the hunt for what is being called one of the biggest economic development deals of the century, making the short list of 20 metropolitan areas out of 238 proposals for e-commerce giant Amazon’s second headquarters. Comment
Nearly a hundred protesters rallied outside the Brooklyn home of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer on Tuesday night in response to the Senate vote on a budget deal he made to end the three-day government shutdown Monday without protections for young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. Comments (2)
Letters

Demanding better mail service in Queens

We write to you regarding the ongoing and serious problems with mail delivery in our congressional districts in Queens. Comments (1)

Lancman takes over Council’s justice committee

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) is the new chairman of the Committee on the Justice System, which will oversee criminal and civil justice in New York City. Comments (1)
Jackson Heights

Dromm appointed chair of Council Finance Committee

City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) was named chairman of the powerful and prestigious Committee on Finance, replacing Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, who did not seek re-election to a third term. The committee has jurisdiction to review and modify the city’s $85 billion budget and oversees fiscal policy, the comptroller’s office, the city’s Banking Commission, and the Department of Finance. Comment

Queens City Councilmen appointed to lead committees

Three City Council members from Queens were chosen to lead some of the most important committees in local government following the election of Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) as speaker. Comments (3)
Rockaway Beach

HPD to blame in fatal Rockaway blaze: Electeds

A fatal blaze that tore through a Rockaway Beach high-rise Friday, injuring 17 people, including nine police officers and three firefighters, was ruled accidental by the FDNY, but it could have been prevented, according to several elected officials. Comment
Woodside

Property manager who ‘terrorized’ residents in Sunnyside will not run in board election

The property manager of a Sunnyside condominium who became the focus of multiple state and city investigations after he was accused of intimidating and harassing residents, and who hung Nazi posters in the building’s lobby, will not run in next month’s condo board elections. Comment
East Elmhurst

Crowley unveils ‘better deal’ for middle-class families while slamming rhetoric from Washington

Declaring that the playing field simply isn’t fair for working families and the middle-class families in Queens, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) presented his “Better Deal” social and economic plan at Vaughn College of Aeronautic, Engineering, Aviation and Technology in East Elmhurst on Tuesday. Comments (1)
A report by the NYC Department of Investigation reveals that homeless families in the city have been housed in hotels where criminal activity, including prostitution, has been taking place. Comments (1)

New law opens diaper-changing stations to dads

New York City dads will now have the opportunity to change their babies’ diapers in public buildings. Comment
When work was completed on a 350-seat, $92 million annex at PS 11 in Woodside in time for the new school year, it didn’t take long to notice the new main entrance of the school put students and faculty at risk. Traffic safety is now a main concern for parents at the school as the 1,000 children at the school empty out at 54th Street and Skillman Avenue where motorists come off Roosevelt Avenue driving fast. Comment
As Winter Storm Grayson bore down on the city last week, residents of the Woodside Houses were freezing in their own homes as they were left without heat or hot water in the New York City Housing Authority complex at 50-51 Broadway. Tenants in more than 30 NYCHA developments reported heat problems that same day, but Mayor Bill de Blasio went to the Astoria Houses, where 1,357 apartments were affected, with City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and state Assemblyman Brian Barnwell (D-Maspeth), and service was restored within four hours, according to NYCHA. Comment
Traffic deaths hit an all-time low in Queens during 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday inside the NYPD’s Central Garage in Woodside, not far from PS 152, where he signed initial Vision Zero legislation four years ago. Comments (4)

Cuomo to challenge federal tax overhaul as unconstitutional attack on states’ rights

Gov. Andrew Cuomo went on the offensive last week, using his State of the State address to attack Republicans’ tax overhaul and pledging to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration, proclaiming an unconstitutional assault on states’ rights. Comment
The City Council voted unanimously to pass legislation that requires a two-year study of the feasibility of using alternative fuel in city ferries. Comment
Long Island City

Maloney critiques Plaxall’s Anable Basin rezoning proposal

The public will have another two weeks to submit written comments on Long Island City-based Plaxall’s Anable Basin rezoning proposal after the Department of City Planning extended the original deadline. The agency will accept comments on the plan to develop 15 acres along the East River waterfront until the close of business Jan. 19. Comments (1)
College Point

Avella, College Point residents oppose plans for six-story hotel

College Point residents are concerned about a potential new hotel. Comments (2)
Jackson Heights

Transgender advocate from Jackson Heights, facing deportation, is pardoned by Cuomo

A transgender woman from Jackson Heights who has become a strong advocate for transgender and immigrant communities nationwide was granted a pardon by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week. Comment

Cuomo unveils plan to end food shaming

Ahead of his State of the State address Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo previewed his five-step plan to combat hunger for food insecure students from kindergarten through college. Cuomo’s announcement could not have come at a better time for Queens’ children. Comment

Classifieds

Do you know an immigrant in Queens who has made an impact on the community? Nominate a person who has made a difference for the 2018 Queens Ambassador Awards.
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