More than 40 percent of the state’s population lives here in New York City, and when you count the other downstate counties, the number soars above 60 percent. Put simply, this is where the people are. So why does Gov. Cuomo want to see new casinoâ€¦
It’s been 30 years since the New York Islanders won their last Stanley Cup, and frankly, they have been abysmal for most of the years between 1983 and now. During this labor-dispute-shortened National Hockey League season, the Islanders played respectably enough to earn their first playoff berth in seven years as they clinched the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Islanders drew the unenviable assignment of playing Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins, long an NHL powerhouse, in the first round. To their credit, the Isles showed that they weren’t merely happy to be there, as they battled hard to force the series to six games. Unfortunately for the Isles, they lost two overtime games at the Nassau Coliseum, including Saturday night’s finale.
Memorial Day is fast approaching, I hope it will not slip by with many forgetting the importance of this day. It is not just another day off to maybe shop for sales and enjoy back yard barbecuing. Memorial Day is a time to remember all those who gave their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy today.
I find myself thinking what it means to be an American. The answer is crystal clear, and that is the pride to live in a county that allows us our personal freedom to express ourselves and speak our minds. These freedoms come with great personal sacrifice for those who leave family, friends and jobs to serve the greater good. I myself had served during the Vietnam era. Although I never saw combat, I had friends who did and who died serving their country.
So, please honor Memorial Day by honoring those who gave their lives for what we all hold most dear. You can do this by attending parades in your local communities and saluting those who served our country so well. I also ask the many who can to display the flag of our country from homes and businesses You can also call those veterans you know and tell them thanks for serving and keeping us free from tyranny.
The idea that the City of New York intentionally discriminated against minority applicants to the Fire Department was never more than a misguided misinterpretation of test results, at best, or a demeaning lie at worst.
Now a federal appeals court has agreed that it was wrong for U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis to determine that was the case because too few black and Hispanic applicants to the FDNY managed to pass the department’s entrance exam.
(An open letter to the New York Congressional Delegation:)
Sexual assaults in our military are running into the thousands and are way out of control! Victims usually are required to report all incidents to their military superiors. A very bad move ... very little justice will come out of this idea.
I urge you to introduce legislation requiring Congress to create a civilian review board with power to discipline any accused military sexual predator found guilty.
This matter should have prompt consideration on your part.
HR 1565 is new legislation in Congress to expand Brady background checks on gun sales. But despite the fact that nine in 10 Americans support expanded background checks, the gun lobby extremists are working overtime to kill the bill.
Strong, sensible gun laws preserve Second Amendment rights, prevent gun violence, and save lives.
While the Brady Law requires criminal background checks of gun sales at gun stores, these checks are not required at gun shows, online sales and other venues where unlicensed sellers operate.
Right now in most states, felons, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill can walk into a gun show, flea market or even log on to the internet and buy weapons from unlicensed sellers, no questions asked.
Congress should require a simple criminal background check on gun sales. The Brady Law has stopped over 2 million felons and domestic abusers from getting guns at gun stores. Now it’s time to finish the job.
Completing the necessary paperwork for background checks takes mere minutes, and more than 91 percent of these checks are completed instantaneously.
I strongly support the Second Amendment. However, this right also requires basic responsibility, and as a society we are responsible for keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people like criminals, terrorists and the dangerously mentally ill.
In addition, there are exemptions from a check between family members, hunters and sportsmen who temporarily want to exchange firearms while hunting or participating in sports shooting activities.
I urge every reader to contact their representatives today and ask them to co-sponsor the bipartisan King-Thompson bill (H.R. 1565) to expand criminal background checks and save lives.
I was in the supermarket the other day and the young person in front of me was speaking to the cashier in Spanish, and I noticed that he was buying four one-quart ice cream boxes. The total price was about $15 and he gave the cashier a “blue” Benefits/Medicaid card — with a picture of a woman on it. The cashier didn’t say anything about the picture on the card being a woman; she just processed the purchase. I noticed that the total amount he had to pay was zero.
My questions are:
1. Why did the cashier accept a card from a young man (in his twenties) when there is a picture of a woman on it?
2. I thought the “blue” Benefits/Medicaid card was for impoverished people and could only be used for food. Is ice cream now considered food?
3. Why are my tax dollars being used to pay for people to buy ice cream?
4. Why are “illegal” aliens allowed to get a ‘blue’ Benefits/Medicaid card and get food, prescriptions, hospital/doctor visits, hearing aids, glasses, etc. for free? While I, a person who is 80 years old and has been paying taxes all my life, must pay for all these things? Wh
y are my taxes being used to pay for all these free benefits (including ice cream)?
Can anyone answer these questions? No wonder the United States is in such a financial mess!
If an investigation of the Benghazi attack should reveal that there were members of the Obama administration, including the president himself, who knew what really happened and did nothing to prevent it from happening, then all of them should be forced to resign from their positions, including the president.
The anger of the American people is building regarding the entire incident. We have every right to know the full facts and truth about this tragic incident, which took the lives of several people. Why can’t our government ever admit that it was not totally honest with the American people?
It is time for accountability regarding the Benghazi attack. President Obama needs to take full responsibility for this major screwup. The Wizard of Oz could do a much better job of running the country.
Walking along the six blocks encompassing Windsor Park and Bell Boulevard with my aide, I meet and greet beautiful people who smile and offer their services well beyond the norm. This neighborhood offers everything for rich and poor alike. Windsor Park, you are the sunshine in my life — next to my family.
There is much talk both positive and negative relative to the Keystone XL (KXL) Pipeline. It is planned to pump crude tar sand oil from Canada across the U.S to Texas where it would be distilled and sold overseas. I happen to be in accord with the latter since in no way does the XL profit the American people, but rather exclusively the already bloated petroleum industry. For the public, what is left is a 3-foot diameter filth-filled funnel snaking its way south through their land waiting to burst. (see: Mayflower, Ariz. spill and multiply by 10). Those with a positive view have been conned into thinking that this filthy crude will some how help us to become oil independent by fulfilling our needs.
Nevertheless, a pipeline could be a positive thing and truly benefit “we the people.” Imagine if in lieu of the KXL Pipeline, we built an H2O pipeline delivering desalinated water to our decimated states that have suffered through devastating droughts. No more Grapes of Wrath. Building t
hat pipeline would create those jobs that the pro-KXLers claim we would not, lest the KXL is built. Additionally desalinization stations would have to be built creating additional jobs. There are already more than 21,000 world wide. The technology is there. In 1791 Thomas Jefferson did it (in small scale), cruise ships serve thousands, submarines, Saudi Arabia, Australia, even our embarrassing Guantanamo Bay. No more disputes concerning the shrinking Colorado River while lowering, however infinitesimally, the rising ocean. We could convert deserts to gardens a la Israel.
It’s a win-win situation and if we can get lobbyists with enough of the necessary bribing collateral, Congress will love it and make it the law of the land (or sea). One critical measure however must be considered. President Obama must disapprove of the plan or it would undoubtedly be filibustered and blocked. As a proven “people’s President,” I’m certain he would comply.
What does the First Amendment mean to you?
Not since 1971 have we seen the government so blatantly attack the freedom of the press. Working for local news organizations most of my life, I have a strong affiliation to the principles that should guide the news. I also hold in equal regard the freedoms that must be upheld for our democracy to flourish.
September 2014 will mark the end of an era as CBS, the network that has broadcast the championship matches of the US Open as far back as anyone can remember, will not renew its contract with the United States Tennis Association when it expires next year, the Queens Chronicle has exclusively learned.
It took about 15 hours for the first fallout from the Nets’ disappointing Game 7 loss to the undermanned Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA playoffs to be felt. Nets general manager Billy King announced that interim head coach PJ Carlesimo would not be offered a contract.
Given the way the Nets choked away a 14-point lead with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, combined with their putrid performance in the decisive Game 7 — trailing by 17 points at the half before making a too little, too late run — it was inevitable that Carlesimo would get his walking papers.
Preet can’t be beat, unless you think Loretta is better. The U.S. attorneys for the southern and eastern districts of New York, respectively, Preet Bharara and Loretta Lynch, are in the midst of stellar work that should do more to clean up the political corruption that seems endemic to Albany than most so-called reforms have ever managed.
They’re going after corruption in case after case and knocking down one elected domino after another. Any city or state lawmaker who’s on the take and hasn’t been charged yet must be very, very nervous.
The city’s executive budget plan has been released. It proposes a cut to Queens Library of $29.6 million, part of a proposed cut to libraries citywide of $100 million. If that proposal were to become reality, the impact on library service hours and the number of job layoffs are unthinkable.
Our representatives in City Hall and the City Council value libraries. They have demonstrated that in the past. Elected officials have limited revenue resources and tough choices to make. Nevertheless, the proposed cut is enormous.
It is up to the people of Queens to show the City Council and City Hall that library hours and library jobs are critical to this city. Libraries in Queens urgently need your help. Go to savequeenslibrary.org. You will be able to sign our electronic petition and send an email to your elected representatives. Or, stop in to any library and sign the paper petition or write a postcard.
Speak up for Queens Library! Tens of millions of our neighbors use free library resources or attend free library programs. They enjoy quiet reading time, sharpen their skills for their next big job, use the computers, prepare for an important exam for work or school, find out more about a health con
dition or email a friend far away. To allow that, libraries must remain open for service at least five days a week, or more.
As we speak with our elected officials, we will also be talking about how critical a stable funding stream is for libraries in the future. We need to be able to better plan for the library services you need from year to year and be assured of being able to buy books for the shelves.
For now, I hope I can count on everyone to Speak Up for Queens Library. Go to savequeenslibrary.org on your computer or smartphone, or stop at the library and sign the petition. You need your library. Right now, your library needs you.
Though it may not seem that way lately, Queens is not all about political corruption. It’s also a wonderful place to live, work and play — one that deserves to be celebrated in many ways, as it so often is.
One way it’s being celebrated this weekend is through the original musical “Let’s Hear It For Queens!” The play is written and directed by Mark Lord of Forest Hills, a retired teacher and frequent contributor to this newspaper.
Queens Chronicle Asst. Managing/Online Editor Joseph Orovic's article — actually expose would be a more accurate description — about an Abu Dhabi oil multibillionaire prince who would appear to be Mayor Bloomberg’ s choice for a Major Soccer League stadium, where else but in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, represents excellent journalism (“UAE’s Sheikh Monsour to be FMCP’s MLS king,” May 2).
Equally worthy of applause is the Chronicle’s editorial condemnation of not just giving away parkland, but giving it to someone whose wealth is directly related to a repressive government whose policies “are not ones that most Americans would find tolerable” (“No park giveaway to an oil billionaire for soccer,” May 2).
With apologies to William Shakespeare, the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but at the feet of the current occupant of the office of mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. In the almost 12 years he has held the office, he not only never lifted a finger to reverse the neglect inflicted on
FMCP, the second-most used park in our municipal park system (primarily by the less privileged), but has actively participated in giving up FMCP land, a nonrenewable resource, to private interests.
The expansion of the United States Tennis Association complex in the park; on the horizon a 1.4 million-square-foot shopping mall on the Citi Field parking lots, which were built on FMCP land; and a Major League Soccer stadium capable of seating up to 35,000 people are all part of Bloomberg’s romance with the wealthy and indifference to the little people. He fails to understand parks are the lifeblood of an urban society, or if he does understand, he is contemptuous of the people who need and use the park.
I believe if Frederick Law Olmstead, the genius who created Central and Prospect parks in this city and important parks elsewhere, was still alive, he would not break bread with Bloomberg, and justifiably so.
Flushing Meadows Park is very important to the people of Queens. With many acres of grass and trees, it is a place where thousands of people come everydayto relax and enjoy the beauty of the park. This is what Flushing Meadows Park is for — not to be torn up and turned into a soccer stadium complex.
Why don’t the developers build one in Central Park? If they attempted to do that, they would be met with major opposition from Manhattanites and politicians alike. Our politicians here in Queens better open their mouths and steadfastly stand against this absurd proposal.
Keep Flushing Meadow Parka park — permanently. It should be granted protective status by the National Park Service.
To the owner of a black Honda who hit my car parked on 62nd Drive and 69th Place, on April 21-22, causing extensive damage: I wonder if your conscience lets you sleep since then while I’ve been without a car.
There is little doubt that we are being bamboozled by our professional politicians. We continue to have faith in our rulers despite their betrayals, the squandering of the loot they steal, and the unsustainable debt they have created. After each crisis, whether it be a natural disaster, a mass shooter or a terrorist attack, we implore our politicians to increase their intrusions, their wealth confiscations and their police state, with the plea, “Anything to keep us safe.”
How much liberty do we have to sacrifice to facilitate the illusion of safety and prosperity? Everything we possess and do in our daily lives is already regulated, licensed, and taxed by the government because we have been conditioned to believe that the job of the government is to keep us safe. Onc
e the government decides that its role is to keep us safe, whether economically or physically, it can only do so by limiting or taking away our liberties. Everything from our consumption of soft drinks to our contributions to retirement accounts is monitored. President Obama’s 2014 budget would limit tax-preferred retirement savings because “some wealthy individuals are able to accumulate many millions of dollars in these accounts, substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement savings.” It seems unreasonably wealthy retirees are a menace to society.
In 2008 the people of Massachusetts voted 70 percent to 30 percent against repealing the state income tax. I can’t help wondering who would vote against being able to keep more of his own earnings. In an effort to further please their constituents, Gov. Deval Patrick and the Legislature now want to raise taxes even more. H.L. Mencken wrote, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”
At a recent press conference, President Obama renewed his 2009 pledge to close the Gitmo military prison in Cuba. His executive order to do that was blocked by the GOP House.
I agree with all the reasons Obama explained to the reporters. These alleged terrorists, serving years in Gitmo, deserve to have a trial — not in a military court but in a federal court. We all agree justice should be served. If found guilty, they should serve their time, like many other guilty terrorists are doing, in a federal prison.
People have to stop criticizing Bush for reading a children’s book (“My Pet Goat”) for seven minutes after being told of the World Trade Center attack and then disappearing for hours. It’s not his fault that it took his tutors so long to explain what he had just read.
The Queens Chronicle has done a great job in covering the recent local news items related to tobacco control and smokefree issues. However, I have to disagree with the April 25 editorial stating that the City Council proposal to raise the minimum purchase age to buy cigarettes in New York City to 21 should be dropped (“At 18, smoking is your call”).
There are a number of tobacco-control proposals that have been introduced into the City Council, all of them worthy of passage and signed by Mayor Bloomberg, but the proposal in question could be the decisive turning point in finally reducing the number of our high school-age students from being the next replacement smoker generation.
Let’s not fool ourselves to think that teens wait until they have reached the magic age of 18 before they try their first smoke. It’s very clear that kids start to experiment with tobacco as early as age 14 and most start at age 16 or 17. This unfortunate dilemma was verified by the previously secret tobacco industry documents that uncovered their research and subsequent marketing strategy to target mid teens to become new tobacco users.
The key point that the Queens Chronicle is missing here is teens who are not legally able to buy their smokes rely on their friends aged 18-20 to buy cigarettes for them. A 2001 published report indicates that 90 percent of persons buying cigarettes for minors are in this age group. If the minimum age is raised to 21, then, there will be a paradigm shift of how teens, especially the 16-18 year olds, will be able to get their cigarettes. Their sources will no longer exist. Those who are 21 years old are in different social circles and are young adults who either are in their junior year of college or have been working for a living for three years and generally don’t hang with 16-18 year olds and are wise enough by then not to buy them cigarettes.
New York City would not be the first venue to raise the purchase age of cigarettes above 18. Two Massachusetts towns have raised the bar to 21 and New Jersey and neighboring Nassau and Suffolk counties have a minimum purchase age of 19. According to a New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene survey conducted last year, two-thirds of New Yorkers favor raising the minimum age for sale of cigarettes from 18 to 21, with 69 percent of nonsmokers and 60 percent of smokers supporting this policy.
He’s worth about $4.9 billion, according to the latest estimates. He sails around in what may be the world’s largest yacht — one with a pool and helipad.
He’s the deputy prime minister of a backwards Arab nation that lives under Sharia law, oppressing women, gay people and the foreign guest workers who make up nearly 90 percent of his hometown’s population.