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Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 1:00 pm, Fri Feb 28, 2014.

Avella pens bill to save white swans state calls a threat

If the Department of Environmental Conservation has its way, there won’t be a single mute swan left in the State of New York by 2025.

If state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Whitestone) has his way, the birds just may remain unmolested.

Avella this week introduced a bill that would put a two-year halt on the DEC’s plan to capture or kill all mute swans in the state. The distinctive white waterfowl are not native to New York, and, according to the agency, are disruptive to the ecology here and have to go.

Details of the DEC’s draft plan to empty the state of mute swans, and directions on how members of the public may comment on it, are available at dec.ny.gov/animals/7076.html. The deadline for comments is tomorrow, Feb. 21.

Avella’s bill would delay the plan and force the DEC to demonstrate how the swans have damaged the environment or the well-being of other species. A companion measure is being carried in the lower house by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D–Sheepshead Bay).

AG: Protect the vote

A new bill introduced by Assemblyman Karim Camara (D-Brooklyn) on behalf of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is designed to ensure fairness at the ballot box.

The goal of the Voter Intimidation Prevention Act is to prevent what Schneiderman calls “baseless and intimidating challenges” to voters at the polls. It would require anyone who disputes a person’s right to vote to provide the factual basis for the challenge. The AG said his office has gotten many complaints about voter intimidation, especially targeting minorities..

Jonesing for some joe after riding the rails?

Select coffeehouses in parts of Queens and Brooklyn have been added to an online map showing where to get some of the city’s best java along subway lines. Created by app maker Butterfruit Labs, the guide looks just like the MTA’s subway map but shows its designer’s preferred cafes instead of stops. Just a few in Queens that made the cut are Coffee Pot in Astoria, Gloria Jean’s in Elmhurst and Seattle Cafe at the Sunnyside-Long Island City border.

The map is posted at bangalorebanerjee.blogspot.com, along with some commentary from its designer: “Ok, so it’s not all of Brooklyn and Queens, but it has the areas with good coffee. A few lines, such as the L and the G, had fierce competition. Other stops (ahem, Woodside and Corona — and come on Barclays Center) had our researchers struggling to find one good cup. Overall, this map should not disappoint, and hopefully, will incite some passionate (yet hiply nonchalant) rage!”

Kennedy, LaGuardia on-time service poor

New York’s airports are not flying high when it comes to staying on schedule, the federal Department of Transportation says.

Surveying departures and arrivals at 29 major U.S. airports, the DOT ranked Kennedy Airport 20th on the former, with 23 percent of flights leaving late, and 25th on the latter, with 25 percent of planes arriving late. LaGuardia landed in 17th place on departures, with 22 percent of flights out delayed, and 28th on arrivals, with 28 percent of planes coming in late.

The area’s other big airport, Newark, came in 26th on takeoffs and dead last on arrivals

— compiled by Peter C. Mastrosimone

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