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Those who have stood firm against the proposed homeless shelter at the site of a former factory at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale now have more ammunition in their fight against the plan.
An audit by the New York State Comptroller’s Office of a prior contract between Samaritan Village, the human services agency sponsoring the shelter, and the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services revealed that Samaritan Village allegedly misused nearly $1 million in state funds.
2013 proved to be a very busy year for area civic groups.
Quality-of-life issues such as the proposed homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale and the trash-carrying trains roaring through southwestern Queens neighborhoods dominated many an agenda.
If it has wheels, it made headlines.
Issues involving bicycles, illegal motor scooters, out-of-control SUVs, striking school bus drivers and pungent trash trains all made their way onto the Chronicle’s pages in 2013.
In a city the size of New York, politics and crime are often the biggest newsmakers, as was the case in 2013.
There was no shortage of political headlines this past year, an election year at that. Queens elected a new borough president while Forest Hills and Rego Park opted to bring back Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) for another term. Area politicians made their collective voices heard throughout the year, filling the Chronicle’s pages for months.
The Department of Homeless Services will move forward with the proposed 125-family homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale, but elected officials and civic leaders alike made their opposition known at a Dec. 12 public hearing.
After being given notice of the hearing just four days earlier, Assemblymen Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) and Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) joined Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) and state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) in testifying at the public hearing of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services.
Melinda Katz spent her early years in public service under the tutelage of former Borough President Claire Shulman,
Come January, the former councilwoman and member of the state Assembly will move up to the chair Shulman filled for more than a decade.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) had her hands full on Tuesday night.
In a heated debate for the 30th district’s City Council seat, Crowley and first-time Republican challenger Craig Caruana faced off in a nasty battle of accusations and verbal attacks that drowned out discussions of substance and plans for the district’s future.
There’s still no relief in sight regarding the pungent plight of furious residents near the Fresh Pond rail yard in Glendale, despite a recent legal victory.
One World Recycling’s permit application to triple the amount of waste production from 370 tons to 1,100 tons per day has been indefinitely delayed by the Department of Environmental Conservation.
The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York is upping the ante in his fight against political corruption in the state, telling the governor’s Moreland Commission that his office will start going after the pensions of public officials who are convicted of crimes.
And an unscientific survey of elected officials from Queens elicited that legal changes and legal challenges will be forthcoming.
On Wednesday, Aug. 28, music will fill the West Side Tennis Club stadium in Forest Hills once more but outside, the gentle strumming of a banjo and the easy sounds of a harmonica may be replaced with car horns, exhaust pipes and frustrated residents.
Mumford and Sons, the pop-folk fusion band, will be rocking out in this historic stadium that once hosted A-list acts including the Beatles, Frank Sinatra and Jimi Hendrix. A concert has not been held at the WSTC for 17 years.
In this technological world, the need for computer skills is more relevant than ever and yet, the state Education Department has not set in place a computer science core curriculum.
“I’ve spent the better part of 20 years trying to build a computer science program and we’ve been fairly successful,” Michael Zamansky, a teacher a Stuyvesant High School in Mahattan, said. “One of the things we’ve found is that if you expose kids to computer science and modern technology, they will eat it up.”
New York is the only state in which Mixed Martial Arts is banned, and the controversy surrounding the sport is ongoing in Albany.
In response to a bill that would legalize MMA, 35 Assembly Democrats wrote a letter to Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), a longtime opponent of MMA, asking him to hold the line in opposition.
The Shops at Atlas Park, the indoor-outdoor mall that opened six years ago in Glendale, is being revamped — and this time, the owners say they are making it all about the community.
“We’re doing wonderful things, and I’m sure all of the community will be very happy,” said Liza Diaz, the property manager for the shopping center. “We have such belief that this property is going to do so well; it’s a hidden gem.”
Elected officials and community groups are making moves to improve the quality of life for the homes that line MTA’s Long Island Rail Road freight train tracks.
The tracks that cut through parts of Brooklyn and Queens, used mostly for freight and garbage transportation from Long Island, have been the subject of controversy for some time now as residents complain of excessive noise during late hours and high diesel exhaust emitted from locomotives, which have been known to cause asthma, diabetes and other health problems.
Three million dollars will be secured in the state budget for a freight locomotive engine upgrade to combat pollution, area lawmakers say.
“This is the first win in what will be an ongoing fight to protect the health of countless families in Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island,” Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) said.
A bill to allow mixed martial arts events to be held in New York may finally be headed for approval after years in limbo.
The full contact sport that includes elements of boxing, judo, jiu-jitsu and other martial arts is banned in New York, but is legal in nearly every other state in the country and has a growing fan base. The sport’s top promotion company, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, regularly holds sold-out events in arenas across the country and the world, including in Britain, Canada and Brazil.
Funding to reduce air pollution around the Fresh Pond Rail Yard has thus far made it through that grueling process known as the New York State budget negotiations.
The trick now for Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) and like-minded legislators is to shepherd the $17 million from the Transportation Committee into the final version of a spending bill that could be sent to Gov. Cuomo’s desk by Saturday.
Diesel locomotives like these leased by the New York and Atlantic Railroad could soon be slated for emission-reducing upgrades if state leaders embrace a bill being championed by Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi.
The state Legislature is negotiating an expansion to the state’s Bottle Bill to include noncarbonated beverages such as iced teas, sports drinks, energy drinks and sugar-added waters. If the expanded bill passes, consumers will have to pay an additional 5 cents for those beverages, which can be redeemed by recycling the bottles.
Gov. Cuomo’s budget proposal for the 2013-2014 year may lead to drastic cuts to food banks and pantries statewide.
The recent proposal sent out in January would downsize spending across the board but funding for programs like the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program and WIC would be restructured completely.
Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) is seeking $17 million in state funds to modernize ancient diesel locomotives that operate in Queens and throughout geographic Long Island.
The trains in question largely haul trash, and operate largely to or from the Fresh Pond rail terminal in Ridgewood, where trains at times are less than 50 feet from homes and restaurants as they haul loads of garbage.
The United States Tennis Association has proposed a plan to maintain and improve its infrastructure and operations to keep the US Open a top-rated international event. The bold, multi-year, self-funded strategic improvements outlined in the plan did not come about in a vacuum, but rather as a smart response to the international reality that the other Grand Slam Tournaments (Wimbledon, Australia Open and the French Open) are spending close to a combined $1 billion in improvements to their facilities while several other cities and governments throughout the world are currently building top-notch facilities. These other activities are occurring for a single purpose — to take away business via elevated sponsor expectations and new industry-setting standards, from the US Open, from Queens and from New York City. As Queens residents and New Yorkers, we must simply not allow this to happen.
Legitimate concerns have been raised by some community residents and several of my colleagues in elected positions about the protection of parkland in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Considering the small and precious amounts of parkland in Queens I would tend to agree. However, as a representative of
a district adjacent to the park who has recently been able to allocate $250,000 to upgrade ball fields 13 and 14 so the community can benefit from better facilities in the park, I do believe the characteristics of the space involved in this particular instance deserves to be considered. The fact is that not only is almost all of the upgrading of these facilities to be done inside the land that is currently leased, but the land outside is .68 acre and is currently an underutilized asphalt road.
The debate team at Forest Hills High School recently emerged from a competition last month as the best squad in New York State.
Now the 35 seniors are turning to the community in an effort to raise $22,000 they will need in order to go to Washington, DC, in April for the national championships.
Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, left, and his father, former city and state comptroller Alan Hevesi, were among the numerous Queens political figures attending services Sunday for former state Sen. Emanuel Gold.
It wasn’t supposed to happen again.
On Jan. 3, 1999, 32-year-old Kendra Webdale was pushed to her death in front of a New York City subway train. Her killer, Andrew Goldstein, was diagnosed as schizophrenic, but was not taking his medication.