Here’s the latest disgrace out of Albany: Ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who had to resign after it was revealed that he just couldn’t keep his hands off the pretty young things he liked to hire, has been fined $330,000 by the state Legislative E…
We were disappointed to see our friends at the Queens Pride House in Jackson Heights helping to promote the insidious movement to boycott, divest from and impose sanctions upon Israel. But that’s just what happened Tuesday, when the center had Sarah Schulman, an anti-Israel CUNY professor and supporter of the BDS movement, speak before a crowd of about 30 like-minded people.
The Pride House is dedicated to the interests of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, and is the only center of its kind in Queens. We wish it had not hosted a one-sided event attacking the only country in the Middle East where LGBT people enjoy anything approaching equal rights.
The state Legislature has so many flaws it’s hard to know where to begin — the members’ outside employment, the bills passed without hearings, the frequent disregard of the city’s interests, the flat-out criminality of a shocking number of lawmakers, and so on.
This week we add a new flaw to the list, new at least to most members of the public who aren’t in on Albany’s archane machinations. It turns out that a bill can be introduced with no one’s name on it, allowing everyone to escape any repercussions from sponsoring a potentially unpopular measure.
Though anything can happen, it’s almost certain that the biggest crisis the next mayor will face will be fiscal. And it must be addressed head on.
All the city’s unions are working without contracts, a disaster in waiting Mayor Bloomberg is leaving for his successor to handle. The costs of healthcare for city employees and retirees, which almost none of them pay a dime into, continues to grow. Taxpayers’ contributions to the retirees’ pensions are skyrocketing.
She was 12 years old when she decided life was not worth living. Twelve. So a week ago today, Gabrielle Molina of Queens Village hanged herself with a belt from the ceiling fan in her room. Individual tragedies don’t get much worse than that.
And what was it that drove poor Gabrielle to her fate? She was being bullied online, by other kids mocking her over a breakup and the fact that, like an apparently rising number of girls in pain, had taken to cutting herself.
The ongoing saga of Major League Soccer’s proposal to build a stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and the city’s apparent acquiescence in defiling Queens’ crown jewel with yet another massive structure, took two major turns this week.
First, it was announced that in addition to the Arab sheikh who would be the majority owner of the new team that would play there, the New York Yankees would take a 25 percent stake in the franchise. That just adds to our contention that there is no way to justify Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to give our parkland away. Both the sheikh and the Yankees have extremely deep pockets, and if they want to build a stadium somewhere in the city, they can afford to buy the land to do it.
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 casinos built upstate only? And why would he continue to deny Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct Race Track the full table gaming he would allow upstate?
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.
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.
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.
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.
How ironic it is that this week the late civic activist Pat Dolan was honored twice by Queens’ officialdom, once directly and once indirectly, while in another instance much of what she fought for was laid aside in favor of smoke and mirrors.
Dolan, the founder and leader of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy, who was hit by a car a year and a half ago — on her way to a community meeting — epitomized the best of citizen activism. And on Sunday officials recognized her efforts to protect Queens’ crown jewel park by naming the path around Willow Lake the Pat Dolan Trail. How much the humble Dolan would appreciate such a thing is an open question, but her name deserves to be on the park.
Here at the Queens Chronicle, we dislike cigarettes. We dislike how they kill, we dislike how people waste money on them, we dislike the smell that rushes into the office anytime we open the front door while someone is smoking on the sidewalk. The few staffers we’ve had who smoke regularly know they’re addicts and would love to quit.
Over the years we’ve supported Mayor Bloomberg’s agressive stance against smoking — the ban in bars, the ban on beaches, the pending plan to keep tobacco products out of view in stores. All are valid efforts.