Some of the city’s best high schools are in danger of being weakened, and some of the city’s best students are in danger of being forced into lower-quality schools — all because of ongoing efforts to level the educational playing field that a…
They may call him “Your Honor,” but that doesn’t mean the trait has any value in Bill de Blasio’s City Hall.
At least it’s not a requirement for landing a $170,000-a-year position whose very necessity is questionable itself. Connections and favoritism matter. Honor, honesty, integrity — not required.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the city’s largest green space, and also the one with the most crime.
So how many police officers are dedicated to patrolling it? Zero. That makes no sense and is just another piece of evidence that Queens doesn’t matter all that much to the Manhattan-Brooklyn cabal that calls the shots in this city.
Of all the campaign promises Mayor de Blasio made but has yet follow through on — and there are a few — he probably takes the most heat over not banning the horse-drawn carriages in Manhattan, an issue that arouses strong passion and good arguments on both sides.
But there’s another issue that has a more direct impact on far more people, even if it doesn’t get their blood boiling quite as much: the overregulation and excessive fining of small businesses. And in this case it’s not just that de Blasio has failed to do what he promised to do — reduce summonses for mostly petty infractions that don’t really affect New Yorkers’ health and safety — he’s actually doing the opposite, jacking up revenue from merchants.
The fire that killed two young children in St. Albans Monday is of course a tragedy, and grief over the loss of brothers who were only 6 and 11 years old is your first response.
But the fire was entirely preventable, and should serve as a reminder for everyone of exactly what not to do.
A major Queens institution celebrated its 120th birthday last Saturday, but hardly anyone noticed. That fact, along with the possible fate of said institution, is a shame.
We’re talking about The Big A, Aqueduct Race Track. Today the only racecourse in New York City, Aqueduct opened on Sept. 27, 1894 and has had a storied history ever since.
It turns out that it’s not just the streets that the city Department of Trans-portation hasn’t been maintaining properly. The very heart of Queens, governmentally as well as geographically, is now facing a major predicament thanks to the agency’s neglect.
The 400-space public parking garage in Kew Gardens that serves Borough Hall, the courthouse and the surrounding area has been shut down because it’s falling apart. People’s parking options in the already-congested area are limited, so now they’re doing things such as leaving their cars in bus stops. That creates problems for the bus drivers, the passengers and the people stuck behind them in what should be travel lanes. Queens deserves better.
When it comes to illegal immigration, our state and nation remain divided. On the one hand are those who want to quickly legalize most of the estimated 11 million undocumented people in the United States — about 500,000 of whom are living in New York City — and give them the rights citizens have, and on the other hand are those who want them all deported and a flood of personnel sent to the Mexican border to lock it down.
In between are the reasonable people, including us.
Last year this page was proud to stand with the civic community in Queens against the Bloomberg administration’s misguided plan to give away a large chunk of Flushing Meadows Corona Park so a soccer stadium could be built there. It would have been a devastating blow both environmentally and economically, as the city was prepared to “sell” at least a dozen acres of our crown jewel park for one dollar. When the plan fell through, it marked a major victory for the public interest.
Then Major League Soccer, which wants to build the stadium for its new team, went to the Bronx, hoping to put it in a park next to Yankee Stadium. Now that plan also has failed, and MLS again has turned its attention toward Queens. But it’s looking at an entirely different location, one we can support: Aqueduct Race Track.
Today, Sept. 11, a state Supreme Court justice in Staten Island will hold a hearing on two recently filed lawsuits that have the potential to drastically change how schools across New York State operate.
The suits, which were filed separately but at their core are essentially the same, claim that the laws surrounding teacher tenure and other job protections should be reformed because they enable bad educators to keep their jobs, thus denying children the right to a “sound basic education” guaranteed them by the state Constitution.
Having too many bars in one area obviously can pose problems for nearby residents, with all the noise, recklessness and sometimes criminality that alcohol consumption can bring.
But they are legal businesses, and the people who own them invest a lot of money before they even apply for the required liquor licenses. Their customers have a good time. And some — think Neir’s Tavern in Woodhaven — become neighborhood icons.
All over Queens you see them, furtively jogging down alleyways, sunning themselves on sidewalks, dodging across the streets that often spell their doom. They’re housecats, at least as far as their DNA is concerned. Really they’re former pets who somehow parted ways with their owners, or, more often, they’re descendants of those who did, reverting somewhat to the ways of wild animals, albeit in an urban environment.
You may scorn or ignore them; you may have become friendly with them. Or you may be among the growing number of people who do their best to care for them even while letting them live their own lives, by feeding them, providing them with shelter or by trapping, neutering and returning them in hopes of reducing their population.
Tuesday is primary day for state elections, and there are several races for the Democratic nomination being held across Queens. This being Queens, the winners are virtually assured of election in November.
The hottest races are those between 14th District State Sen. Malcolm Smith and his two challengers, Leroy Comrie and Munir Avery, in Southeast and Central Queens; and between 11th District State Sen. Tony Avella and John Liu in northern and northeastern Queens. The results could heavily impact how the state Senate operates come January.