One of Queens’ longest-running controversies is the fate of the decaying, abandoned Long Island Rail Road Rockaway Beach Branch from Rego Park to Ozone Park (the somewhat misleading name signified that the line hooked up with what is now the …
With the election of a progressive mayor and now the elevation of a progressive city council speaker in Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York has the rare and exciting opportunity to finally address the city’s dysfunctional development process. Emulating the concept of participatory budgeting now used by several City Council members and long championed by the new speaker in which constituents get a binding say in how discretionary funding is spent, the city should begin reforms of its planning and zoning processes to better include local community input. Such changes could usher in a new kind of open, transparent and citizen-based democracy that confronts the equity issues the mayor and speaker hold dear, while simultaneously addressing very real sustainability and resilience needs.
As I walk across York’s campus this time of year I love watching our students scurry inside. Most are looking to escape the cold and retreat into warm libraries or sip hot coffees, rigorously preparing for finals. This time of year is among my favorite, and in many ways, much like the weather, it’s strikingly bittersweet.
As you may have heard, tragedy befell York College this semester, as we laid to rest Manuel Luna Ceron, a student and friend. There is nothing more painful as a college president than to have to share the news with your students that one of their classmates has died. We all feel the pain of this loss and we have to search in our hearts and minds for new beginnings.
In the last month, there has been a lot of news about Airbnb in New York. I’m an Airbnb host in Astoria and I think it’s important that people in Queens know more about Airbnb and how it has improved my life.
As a competitive marathon runner and avid musician, my time is consumed with promoting classical music and logging 40+ miles a week. My nonprofit job at Carnegie Hall allows me to get by, but I don’t have a lot of extra spending money.
The right of way exists, the tracks exist, the infrastructure, although it needs work, still exists — if we want to improve Queens transportation and stimulate economic growth for future development of our borough, the complete restoration and rehabilitation of the abandoned Rockaway Beach Rail Line is our best option.
Sandy revealed what our communities have known for too long: We need more transit options for our families in Queens. There is no better time than right now.