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Queens Chronicle

Columns

Select Bus Service will make Woodhaven worse

Action needs to be taken to improve mobility between northern and southern Queens along the Woodhaven Boulevard corridor, including to and from Midtown Manhattan.A new study by Queens College, Community Impact Study of Proposed Uses of the Ro…

Help honor Queens libraries for their crucial work with an award!
Updated: December 11, 2014 - 1:49 pm

Queens has more branch libraries than any other borough — with 62 — and, therefore, a special interest in helping celebrate their role in the life of our city. That’s exactly what the NYC Neighborhood Library Awards do, and they are accepting nominations from the public through Dec. 12.

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Who could oppose a step toward transparency?
Updated: December 11, 2014 - 12:22 pm

I wondered what everyone was thinking about me as I was surrounded by NYPD officers, with my shoes off, my shirt untucked and my bag splayed open in the middle of the 74th Street subway station for the entire world to see.

Growing up in New York City as a young person of color is not easy or safe, and it certainly has not been for me or my peers. As the years have gone by, I’ve noticed the consistent rise of NYPD presence and harassment that converted our schools and sidewalks into prisons, where our every move is supervised and our rights and privacy are non-existent. You may think that my disposition is too harsh toward New York’s Finest, but of the incredible number of stop and frisks and searches over the last decade, I personally account for nearly two dozen of them. But it didn’t stop there, these incidents were just the tip of the iceberg.

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Queens Crosstown line would be a boon for all
Updated: December 04, 2014 - 3:04 pm

The Queens Public Transit Committee is asking the people of Queens and the region to support the restoration of the Queens Rockaway Beach Line, the new Queens Crosstown. This unused transit corridor is only two to six blocks east and parallel to Woodhaven Boulevard, the most congested and dangerous roadway in Queens. Formerly a branch of the Long Island Railroad, its right-of-way remains largely intact and is owned by the City of New York.

State Assemblyman Philip Goldfeder; state Senator Tony Avella; U.S. Reps. Gregory Meeks, Hakeem Jeffries and Jerrold Nadler; City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, chairman of the Council Committee on Transportation; Assembly District Leaders Lew Simon and Geraldine Chapey; John Samuelsen, president of TWU Local 100; New York Daily News; The Wave; Queens Tribune; Queens Courier; and Times Newsweekly have all called for reactivating the line. In addition, Community Boards 5, 10 and 14 support restoration.

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Rail line articles do little to educate public
Updated: December 04, 2014 - 3:01 pm

I read the November 20 South Queens edition of the Chronicle with a great deal of interest. In particular I appreciate the effort that the editors are making in covering the competing proposals to develop the former LIRR Rockaway line. The paper has repeatedly provided the readers with advocates for both proposals, for a park and for a rail line.

This particular edition had a story, “Use surplus cash on rail line: Goldfeder” by Anthony O’Reilly, reporting on Assemblyman Goldfeder’s proposal for rail service. The other, an Opinion by Andrea Crawford, argues in favor of park space.

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Wednesday 11/26/2014
Where would we be without our local small businesses?
Updated: December 04, 2014 - 12:07 pm

It has been said the small businesses are the backbone of our communities here in Queens, and I am certainly one to reiterate that sentiment. The small businesses, many of which I frequent myself — convenience stores, delis, restaurants and more — are what keep so many of our borough’s commercial corridors going.

Small Business Saturday, this year set for Nov. 29, is a time to acknowledge the services our local stores have to offer. The everyday items we may not always take the time to note, the comfort you have in being a “regular” somewhere or simply just having a convenient place to shop are certainly reasons to appreciate our local stores. Cross Bay Boulevard, Myrtle Avenue, Metropolitan Avenue, Jamaica Avenue, Grand Avenue, Beach 116th Street and Beach 129th Street are just some of the corridors that see thousands of people every day. Where would we be without them?

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Thursday 11/20/2014
Don’t railroad Queens with false train claims
Updated: November 26, 2014 - 11:16 am

Queens College recently released the results of a student survey gauging community opinions on how to utilize the vacant land surrounding the 3.5-mile, long abandoned Rockaway Beach Rail Line. The Friends of the QueensWay commends these students for their hard work, and we were delighted to see the results provide additional support for the QueensWay.

The QueensWay is a community-developed plan to turn this blighted land into a 47-acre linear park that will provide safe, easy access to Forest Park; new recreation opportunities for the 322,000 people living within a mile; a boost to local businesses; and a high-profile showcase for the most culturally diverse borough of New York City.

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Thursday 11/06/2014
Jury duty: a responsibility residents mustn’t ignore
Updated: November 06, 2014 - 2:35 pm

Every citizen has a right to a trial by a jury of his or her peers, and in a county like Queens with its 162 nationalities, that calls for a veritable melting pot. Yet a great many Queens residents ignore the juror questionnaire they receive from my office, inexplicably abandoning their legal obligation and, in fact, their community.

A jury, the impartial fact-finder that determines guilt or innocence in criminal cases and liability or lack thereof in civil cases, works best when it contains a representative cross section of the community. A jury that mirrors the diverse ethnic, social, economic and political perspectives and values of the borough is best equipped to sit in judgment of its fellow citizens and render a verdict that is fair and consistent with the law, while also reflecting the common experiences of the community.

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Thursday 10/30/2014
A tough call on Prop 1: Is half a loaf worth it?
Updated: November 06, 2014 - 12:05 pm

There are few things vaguer to New York voters than ballot propositions that are often as hard to understand as they are hard to locate on a ballot. This Election Day one such ballot proposal New York voters will be asked to decide on is a legislatively referred constitutional amendment to create a redistricting commission to establish state legislative and congressional districts.

Redistricting is the once-a-decade process in which the legislative districts are adjusted to reflect shifts in population. In New York, like most states, the Legislature has for years had primary control of the redistricting process and that has resulted in districts that tend to protect incumbents and produce noncompetitive elections.

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Steady progress made in Hurricane Sandy recovery
Updated: November 06, 2014 - 12:06 pm

I have been saying for quite some time that it’s easy for anyone to stand up on a soapbox and rip apart groups tied to the Sandy recovery process, yell and scream that not enough has been done and call on the respective parties to speed up their work. While these are important sentiments, actions always speaks louder than words. The harder thing to do, in my eyes, is roll up your sleeves and solve the problem.

As we approach two years after the superstorm, recovery has made slow and steady progress. We all know on Oct. 30, 2012, my district was decimated and devastated. Now in October 2014, while some have fully recovered, others wait for reimbursement and even still others wait to reconstruct the homes they lost.

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