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Queens Chronicle

Queens Votes 2013

Thursday 10/16/2014
Hot HS admissions debate set for Sat.
Updated: October 16, 2014 - 12:41 pm

Testing, testing, one, two, three ...

That’s what students do when they want to get into one of the city’s eight elite high schools — Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and the like, including, in this borough, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College.

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Working to aid the many victims of domestic abuse
Updated: October 16, 2014 - 2:50 pm

Every 15 seconds, a woman in the United States is battered.

That adds up to more than 16,000 homicides and more than two million medically treated injuries due to intimate partner violence each year in this country.

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Glendale ZIP code bill introduced by Meng
Posted: October 16, 2014

If Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) is successful, Glendale will soon secede from neighboring Ridgewood, at least in the eyes of the United States Postal Service.

On Monday, the congresswoman introduced legislation calling for a new ZIP code for Glendale, which has shared Ridgewood’s 11385 since 1979.

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Feds may investigate NYPD broken windows
Posted: October 16, 2014

The Civil Rights Division of the U.S Department of Justice has announced that it may launch a probe into the Police Department’s “broken windows” policy, which civil rights advocates say targets minorities for petty crimes.

The DOJ’s announcement came in response to a joint letter that six New York Congressional members sent to Washington in August. They urged the department to launch an investigation into the caught-on-camera chokehold death of Staten Island man Eric Garner and the broken windows policy they said Garner was a victim of.

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Thursday 10/09/2014
Astorino mingles with Hispanic voters
Updated: October 16, 2014 - 12:14 pm

Republican candidate for Governor Rob Astorino met with small business owners in Elmhurst on Tuesday to reach out to working-class and Hispanic voters.

“This is a mix of New York. Everything and everyone is here,” Astorino said of the Queens neighborhood. The candidate conversed with storeowners, restauranteurs and residents walking down the street in near-fluent Spanish.

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Jeffries talks storm resiliency at CB 10
Updated: October 16, 2014 - 12:14 pm

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) paid a visit to Community Board 10 last Thursday to discuss the federal response to Hurricane Sandy and resiliency measures that are being taken in its aftermath.

“Normally, I’m in Washington, D.C. during the time in which this board meets,” he said. “But of course we’re in recess for the next few weeks and I wanted to make sure I made it my business to come out to be with you this evening and just share a brief thought about some of the things we are working on in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers that may be relevant to the residents still recovering from Sandy and concerned about resiliency efforts.”

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Thursday 10/02/2014
Council plans legal aid for immigrant minors
Updated: October 09, 2014 - 10:37 am

With thousands of undocumented, unaccompanied minors facing possible deportation and the federal government not doing as much reforming as city officials would like, the City Council has taken it upon itself to assist the immigrant youth who are unable to pay for proper legal representation while in immigration court.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan), the Robin Hood Foundation and New York Community Trust announced the new Unaccompanied Minor Children Initiative last week — a $1.9 million public-private partnership that will provide funding to legal organizations to address the need for free legal representation and access to social, mental health and medical services.

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Howard Beach Civic back from summer
Updated: October 09, 2014 - 10:37 am

After a summer hiatus, the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic Association resumed its meeting schedule on Tuesday evening at St. Helen School cafeteria.

The more than 300 neighborhood residents who packed the meeting heard from elected officials and representatives of city agencies. Many expressed their concerns about area problems including rodents and traffic on residential streets.

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QUICK HITS
Updated: October 09, 2014 - 10:36 am

Mayor gives raises to workers at city-aided commercial locations

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Prospective vendors on controversial test
Updated: October 09, 2014 - 10:36 am

Whether a high score on the SHSAT — Specialized High School Admissions Test — ought to remain the single gateway to eight of the city’s elite high schools has become a hotly daebated issue.

Two bills being debated in Albany would require multiple criteria — including middle school attendance records, grade point averages and state test scores — play a role in admissions decisions.

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Wednesday 10/01/2014
Felony charges for NYS Assemblyman Bill Scarborough
Updated: October 09, 2014 - 10:49 am

State Assemblyman Bill Scarborough (D-Jamaica) was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with felony grand larceny, filing false campaign documents and fraud.

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Thursday 09/25/2014
Muni ID program to be more ‘cultured’
Updated: October 02, 2014 - 12:11 pm

The announcement of 33 city cultural institutions partnering with the municipal identification program is considered a major victory for Council members in support of the bill.

The citywide identification card will be made available to every New Yorker, regardless of resident status. Because of the universal availability, it had been dubbed as the “illegal immigrants card,” a name many people, including the bill’s sponsor Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) ,have been fighting to shake off.

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Climate march makes an impact
Updated: October 02, 2014 - 12:07 pm

Sometimes showing up is all it takes to make a difference. When 310,000 people showed up for the People’s Climate March on Sunday in Manhattan, they showed that climate change matters to the masses.

Ban Ki-Moon, the secretary general of the United Nations, linked arms with marchers in solidarity, two days before the United Nations summit began on Tuesday. The summit’s goals are to mobilize global politicians to forge a universal climate agreement in Paris by December 2015.

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Forest Park attack tops WRBA meeting agenda
Updated: October 02, 2014 - 12:07 pm

A recent mugging in Forest Park, a new residential home in the area and restoration of a collapsed building on Jamaica Avenue were among the top issues on the table as the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association held its monthly meeting on Sept. 18 at American Legion Post 118 in Woodhaven.

Deputy Inspector Hank Sautner, commanding officer of the 102nd Precinct, announced that the neighborhood experienced a “pretty good summer,” then addressed an incident that occurred around 6 p.m. in Forest Park on Sept. 16.

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House passes Meng’s first bipartisan bill
Updated: October 02, 2014 - 12:11 pm

Congresswoman Grace Meng’s (D-Flushing) legislation that aims to stop scammed calls that trick people to obtain their personal and financial information was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The freshman Democrat introduced the bipartisan bill, Anti-Spoofing Act (H.R. 3670), after receiving complaints from seniors and the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET), a civic organization in her district.

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Jeffries blasts GOP as Congress adjourns
Updated: October 02, 2014 - 12:11 pm

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) took to the House floor last week, before lawmakers adjourned for the midterm campaign recess, to voice his discontent about the Republican majority in a fiery speech for what he called their failure to address the needs of the American people.

Jeffries, who is seeking re-election to represent the 8th Congressional District, which includes most of East and Central Brooklyn and the Queens neighborhoods of Ozone Park, Lindenwood and Howard Beach, argued that the 113th Congress is the least productive in the modern history of our democracy.

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Thursday 09/18/2014
Liu concedes; he vows to be involved
Updated: September 25, 2014 - 11:16 am

Saying he had “fallen just short in the voting booth,” John Liu conceded the 11th District State Senate race to incumbent Tony Avella on Tuesday morning.

In a letter to his supporters, Liu, a former city councilman and comptroller, said the campaign was about “holding our elected officials’ feet to the fire when we as voters put our faith in them and expect that commitments made on the campaign trail are not abandoned in the halls of government.”

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Broken windows theory is debated
Updated: September 25, 2014 - 11:16 am

Just nine months into his first term, it appears likely that the legacy of Mayor de Blasio will largely rest on an important issue: his ability to improve relations between the Police Department and the city’s communities of color.

A panel discussion titled “Broken Windows ... Broken Theory?” held at St. John’s University on Monday delved into race relations.

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Vazquez, Errante win DL races
Updated: September 25, 2014 - 11:15 am

An incumbent and her running mate backed by the Queens Democratic Party emerged victorious from two competitive races for district leader in the 38th Assembly District in the Sept. 9 primary election.

According to unofficial results, incumbent District Leader Eleanor Errante and Angel Vazquez, chief of staff to Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven), both backed by the Queens Democratic Party, won the male and female district leader positions in the 38th Assembly District, represented by Miller.

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Thursday 09/11/2014
Markey handily wins Democratic primary
Updated: September 18, 2014 - 11:49 am

Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth) received a ringing endorsement from her constituents on Tuesday night, as the incumbent legislator resoundingly defeated Dmytro Fedkowskyj in the Democratic primary.

The 73-year-old Markey, who first won election to the state Assembly in 1998, has secured another two-year term in Albany, as she will run unopposed in November’s general election.

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Electeds say DREAM Act will go through
Updated: September 18, 2014 - 11:49 am

It’s election season and once again the New York State DREAM Act has become a centerpiece for many of the Democratic candidates.

At a press conference held on Saturday in front of the Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights, the bill’s sponsors, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights) touted their latest supporter: lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul.

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Comrie cruises to victory over Smith
Updated: September 18, 2014 - 11:59 am

Leroy Comrie struck a tone of gratitude and graciousness Tuesday night as he defeated beleaguered seven-term state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) in the 14th District Democratic primary.

“The people made a difficult choice; but they chose decisively,” Comrie said before throngs of supporters at the Guy R. Brewer Democratic Club. “The people of the 14th District said they wanted a representative they can be proud of, a representative who will get results from Albany.”

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Stavisky defeats Jung in Senate race
Updated: September 18, 2014 - 11:49 am

A group of 50 or so people erupted into cheers as the newly re-elected state Sen. Toby Stavisky stepped out of the elevator in the Good Kitchen restaurant on Tuesday.

“I’m sure all of you have heard by now, but if you haven’t heard, let me be the first to tell you Sen. Stavisky defeated her opponent by a landslide,” Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), said.

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Avella keeps seat by beating back Liu
Updated: September 18, 2014 - 11:59 am

Calling it “a grassroots victory,” an emotional Tony Avella told supporters Tuesday night that his defeat of John Liu should send a strong message to the Queens Democratic Party that “you can’t do this any more.”

Avella (D-Bayside), the state Senate incumbent for the 11th District, got the cold shoulder from the county Democrats after joining the Independent Democratic Conference in Albany earlier this year. It is made up of a group of maverick Democrats who caucus with Republicans in the state Senate to form a majority.

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Bratton questioned by City Council
Updated: September 18, 2014 - 11:49 am

There were a lot of things the public and even city lawmakers wanted to hear from Police Commissioner Bill Bratton when he sat before the City Council on Monday.

What is going to happen to the officer who allegedly killed Eric Garner? Is the NYPD racist? How will cops be trained to handle escalated situations without excessive force? What are you going to do?

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Queens primary results in a nutshell
Updated: September 18, 2014 - 11:49 am

Independent state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) held onto his seat, indicted state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) lost his in a rout and Gov. Cuomo was notified that not everyone in his party is thrilled by his record following Tuesday’s Democratic primaries.

In one of the races that garnered the most media attention this year, Avella defeated former city official John Liu 52.2 percent to 47.8 percent to retain his seat in the 11th District in northern and northeastern Queens, according to preliminary results published by media outlets citing the state Board of Elections.

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Dedicated voters hit the polls every time
Updated: September 18, 2014 - 11:59 am

Though turnout was relatively low as it was an off-year election, many Queens residents did hit the polls to vote in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary and have their voices heard.

“Voting is a right and I exercise it. Religiously,” said Regina Jenkins from Hollis. Her mother worked at the polls and raised her to always come out on an election day. Now Jenkins is passing those values down to her children as well.

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Liu won’t concede state Senate race
Updated: September 18, 2014 - 11:59 am

Anticipated to be a nail-biter, the Democratic primary race for state Senate in the 11th District, which covers much of Northeast Queens, did not disappoint.

Shortly after midnight on Tuesday, various sources, including The New York Times and NY 1, indicated that, with 95 percent of the precincts reporting, incumbent Tony Avella led challenger John Liu 52.2 percent to 47.8 percent.

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Monday 09/08/2014
John Liu campaign wrongly used my name on letter, resident says
Updated: September 10, 2014 - 9:53 am

A Douglaston resident claims his name, address and a false signature that is not his were wrongly included in a letter supporting John Liu sent out by the candidate's campaign team last week.

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Thursday 09/04/2014
Smith says only he can deliver for public
Updated: September 11, 2014 - 12:14 pm

Ask what is at stake in the Sept. 9 primary for the 14th Senate District and most will say the political future of state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis).

Ask Smith, and he says what is at stake is the immediate and long-term future of funding, programs and representation for the people of Southeast Queens when Democrats go to the polls.

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In 11th Dist. race, two strong Dems
Updated: September 11, 2014 - 12:14 pm

With less than a week before the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, the race for the 11th District State Senate seat couldn’t be hotter.

Facing off Tuesday will be the incumbent, Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), and former city Comptroller John Liu.

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Two races, few voters could turn NY Senate
Updated: September 11, 2014 - 12:13 pm

The fervor and passion that can attach to people’s politics may, in New York State, succumb to cold, hard numbers on Tuesday.

And the most important numbers may well be in Democratic primaries in Queens’ 11th and 14th Senate districts.

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Veteran incumbent faces ‘reformer’
Updated: September 11, 2014 - 12:14 pm

A veteran politician and an avowed reformer will face off against each other in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the 16th State Senate district seat.

S.J. Jung, a Flushing businessman who has never held office, will be pitted against 14-year incumbent Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing). Since redistricting, the area now has a majority Asian population at 53 percent, with whites at 24 percent, according to the Center for Urban Research.

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De Blasio endorses Comrie in 14th SD
Updated: September 11, 2014 - 12:14 pm

Former Councilman Leroy Comrie on Tuesday locked up about the only political endorsement he did not yet have.

And it was the big one.

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Fedkowskyj promises to be active, not ‘absent’
Updated: September 11, 2014 - 12:14 pm

Defeating an incumbent state legislator is usually an uphill climb for any rookie challenger, especially when that incumbent has been in office for 15 years.

Community activist and former area education leader Dmytro Fedkowskyj believes that incumbent Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth), his opponent in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, not only can be beaten, but needs to be defeated for the betterment of the 30th District.

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Chronicle endorses Comrie in 14th SD
Updated: September 11, 2014 - 12:13 pm

Experience, experience, experience. That’s what embattled state Sen. Malcolm Smith of Hollis says he brings to the table above all else, along with the results that experience and knowing the ways of Albany gets for the people of Southeast Queens.

But Smith’s major opponent in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, former City Councilman and Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie also has years of experience in government. As Comrie says, he would not go to Albany as a typical freshman if elected. He’s been tested, he knows the issues and he has a lot of support among the people of the 14th Senate District.

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10th SD also has a Democratic primary
Updated: September 11, 2014 - 12:13 pm

With two high-profile state Senate primaries in Queens on Tuesday, one that has not garnered nearly the same amount of attention is the one in the 10th District.

Incumbent state Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-South Ozone Park) is running for his second term.

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Markey touts record as election nears
Updated: September 11, 2014 - 12:14 pm

Since 1999, Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth) has represented the 30th District.

With 15 years of experience under her belt, Markey is asking her constituents for two more to continue fighting for the district.

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QUICK HITS
Updated: September 11, 2014 - 12:13 pm

2013 elections show the campaign finance law works, study says

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Thursday 08/28/2014
Sen. Stavisky takes the race seriously
Updated: September 04, 2014 - 11:50 am

Just because state Sen. Toby Stavisky has been in office for 14 years doesn’t mean she’s not fighting to stay there.

Stavisky, 76, will face businessman and Korean-American activist S.J. Jung, 50, in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary for the 16th District Senate seat in Albany.

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Moss, GOP go on offense on Queens
Updated: September 04, 2014 - 11:52 am

Chris Moss, running for lieutenant governor with Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, headlined the list of statewide and Congressional candidates speaking Tuesday night at a meeting of the Queens Village Republican Club.

And the Chemung County sheriff said he and Astorino feel quite at home in New York City.

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Hopefuls speak out in Bay Terrace
Updated: September 04, 2014 - 11:50 am

A crowd of about 100 constituents turned out Tuesday night for the Bay Terrace Community Alliance’s Meet the Candidates Forum, which featured eight hopefuls seeking five different positions.

Gubernatorial incumbent Andrew Cuomo is being challenged in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary by law professor Zephyr Teachout and political satirist Randy Credico.

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Comrie: ‘Not a typical freshman’ if elected
Updated: September 04, 2014 - 11:50 am

Leroy Comrie’s message to voters, as he tries to unseat state Sen. Malcolm Smith this September, is a simple one.

“I’m not going to Albany as a typical freshman.”

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Liu calls on state to hike vet funding
Updated: September 04, 2014 - 11:52 am

John Liu said last Friday that if the state truly wants to make veterans’ issues a priority, it’s time to show it.

The former comptroller, who is challenging state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) in the Sept. 9 primary in the 11th Senate District, was joined by about two dozen veterans whose service ranged from World War II to Iraq as he outlined a multifaceted plan aimed at improving veterans’ services at the Korean War Memorial in Kissena Park.

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Avery looking forward to 14th SD primary day
Updated: September 04, 2014 - 11:52 am

Queens Village attorney Munir Avery at first embraced being an underdog when he decided to challenge state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) in the 14th District.

And while Smith still has the benefits of incumbency and former Councilman Leroy Comrie has money, support and name recognition, Avery, 36, said he does not know that the underdog status still applies.

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Avella gets support, money from NYLCV
Updated: September 04, 2014 - 11:50 am

It’s not unusual for groups to endorse candidates, but when one not only throws its support but also announces so strongly that it’s putting its money where its mouth is, that’s a bit less common.

That’s what happened Monday when the New York League of Conservation Voters’ political action committee endorsed incumbent state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) for re-election to the 11th District.

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Thursday 08/21/2014
The debate over broken windows
Updated: August 28, 2014 - 11:41 am

Following the July 17 death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner while he was resisting arrest for allegedly selling single cigarettes, an already-existing campaign to dissuade police from enforcing the law on some minor crimes and violations picked up steam. Enforcement of such laws, what is known as the broken windows theory approach to policing, is one target of the protest led by the Rev. Al Sharpton that is set to take place on Staten Island Saturday.

According to activists such as Sharpton, as well as some elected officials including three members of Congress who represent parts of Queens, broken windows policing has an unfair impact on minority communities, such as the one where Garner, who was black, died.

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Liu, Avella speak out during forum
Updated: August 28, 2014 - 11:42 am

During a low-key forum Tuesday night between Democratic state Senate hopefuls John Liu and incumbent Tony Avella, the only real sparks were provided by a handful of hot-headed members of the audience, who temporarily brought the proceedings to a halt.

Throughout the 90-minute session at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing, which drew about 200 mostly Asian-American constituents, Avella and Liu never came face to face. But each offered plenty of allusions — direct or indirect — to the other, making it clear that the competition between them for the 11th District seat is on.

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Democrats square off in 14th SD forum
Updated: August 28, 2014 - 11:41 am

State Sen. Malcolm Smith’s pending retrial on federal corruption charges were never very far from the surface during an Aug. 14 candidate forum for the 14th Senate District.

But the forum did give Smith (D-Hollis), former Councilman Leroy Comrie and Munir Avery the opportunity for a freewheeling discussion on education, jobs, economic development, funding for the district and a host of issues that will be confronting the person sworn into office in January.

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New trustee named to Queens Library board
Updated: August 28, 2014 - 11:42 am

The new Queens Library board took further shape Tuesday, as Borough President Melinda Katz made her first appointment to the 19-seat body since she and Mayor de Blasio together purged eight members on July 23 in response to the controversy surrounding the institution.

The new member is Robert Santos of Sunnyside Gardens, who Katz said in a prepared statement “has had a long, wide-ranging career in higher education, cultural institutions, municipal government and construction.”

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