More than a million New Yorkers were smoking last year, according to new data from the city Health Department, which said it was the first time since 2007 the number has been that high.
The rate of smoking among adults increased from 14 percent in 2010 to 16 percent last year, the department said, adding that it is launching a new ad campaign targeting particular types of smokers.
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.
Major League Soccer can’t seem to quit Queens.
The organization, still searching for a permanent home for its expansion New York City Football Club, is eyeing a site in the borough, again.
Build it Back has been circulating some updated numbers on its progress in South Queens, and although it has been slow, the program seems to actually be moving forward with the reconstruction of hundreds of homes damaged in Hurricane Sandy.
According to statistics from the program, 22 homes in South Queens neighborhoods hit hard by the storm nearly two years ago have already had construction completed through the program, though that’s of more than 8,500 that have signed up. Though the number of homes that have been completed is small, 149, until last March, not a single Sandy-damaged home in the city had work finished through the program.
Several sources say MLS is looking to build a permanent stadium for the team, which is slated to begin playing next year at Yankee Stadium, at Aqueduct Race Track.
With the primary goal of making graduates workplace ready, Business Technology Early College High School, or BTECH, will open its doors to its first students on Sept. 4 in Martin Van Buren High School’s building in Queens Village.
To help the new pupils get their feet wet, orientations were held on Aug. 26 and 27, during which the incoming freshmen had the opportunity to tour their future home and become acquainted with some of their soon-to-be teachers.
The Rockaway Ferry may be slated to end in two months, but residents, civic leaders and elected officials from the peninsula are not yet defeated.
Supporters took their fight right to the steps of City Hall, as they have before when the service started after Hurricane Sandy was in jeopardy.
Mayor de Blasio’s plan to subsidize the wages of private school bus drivers with $42 million in taxpayer funding is worrisome for the precedent it could set. It’s also legally suspect.
Some members of the City Council seem to realize this, but they’re likely to vote to approve the plan today, Aug. 21, anyway, because they believe the workers who will benefit are underpaid.
After an uphill battle, the petitioners of the Willets West lawsuit have not prevailed.
Justice Manuel Mendez ruled Monday that, despite claims of land use violations, the city and the Queens Development Group can move forward with their plans to build a shopping mall and entertainment center on parkland.
When the city announced it would not commit to continuing to fund the Rockaway Ferry service past October, commuters and officials from the peninsula were mad. The ferry, launched after Hurricane Sandy, is popular and the Rockaway community saw it as a good way to jump start the peninsula’s lagging economy and spur development.
But while the ferry — originally a temporary commuting solution while the A train was shut down due to damage to the track — was popular, the city says it’s not heavily used. That was one reason why the city’s Economic Development Corp.said the cost of the ferry was not sustainable.
The New York City Housing Authority is attempting to create greater transparency when it comes to work orders and vacancies.
The agency, which oversees just under 180,000 units, launched NYCHA Metrics, a webpage that will provide information on the number of open work orders, wait times for routine repairs, vacancy rates and more.
Borough President Melinda Katz and Mayor de Blasio made it very clear the dismissal of nearly half of the Queens Library Board of Trustees was entirely due to the scandal enveloping the library’s CEO Tom Galante, who allegedly misused capital funds.
Jacqueline Arrington, the 2013 board chairwoman, Joseph Ficalora, William Jefferson, Grace Lawrence, Terri Mangino and George Stamatiades received letters from Katz notifying them of their termination on July 23. Mayor de Blasio sacked two mayoral appointees, Patricia Flynn and Stephen Van Anden.
A lawsuit to stop the giveaway of more than 47 acres to developers of the Willets West mega mall was to be heard Wednesday at state Supreme Court in Manhattan.
The lawsuit was filed by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), the City Club of New York, a good government organization, the Queens Civic Congress, Willets Point United and nearby residents and business owners.
The city Department of Education announced last month that it was making changes to its Blue Book — the annual document that outlines school organization and utilization — based on suggestions from a panel created earlier this year by Schools Chancellor Carmen Fari–a.
The Blue Book has been the focus of several education-related debates in the city in recent years, from trailers in schoolyards to co-locations. Critics allege the Bloomberg administration’s Blue Books underestimated how much space schools need and overestimated how much space was available to make co-locations politically palpable.
Queensbridge residents love their neighborhood park along the East River, but they don’t want the twain to meet. Now they can have some piece of mind that they won’t.
Officials and activists gathered in Queenbridge Park on Vernon Boulevard under the summer sun Tuesday to celebrate the completion of a $6.65 million seawall and 6-foot-wide promenade with benches and plantings with a small fishing wharf at the northern end. The planning took more than a decade, but once construction started, it was completed in a year.
The New York Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision that the Bloomberg administration exceeded its authority by passing a ban on large sugary beverages in 2012 last Thursday.
The Portion Cap Rule spearheaded by former Mayor Bloomberg and supported by current Mayor de Blasio states that certain food establishments may not sell, offer or provide a sugary drink in a cup or container that can contain more than 16 fluid ounces.
Going back to visit their old high school is something many students do. The objective is to see their favorite teachers, administrators and friends to see what changes been implemented since their departure.
Unfortunately, the new graduates of Jamaica High School will not be able to do this.
Most parts of Queens have been fairly lucky this year when it comes to gun violence. While the city overall has seen an 11.2 percent rise in shootings so far this year compared to last, going by the latest available police statistics, and some areas have been subject to much worse, Queens has not.
In the southern part of the borough, as defined by the Police Deparment, the number of shooting incidents has gone up only 3.8 percent, from 52 to 54, as of June 22. And in the northern part, they’ve actually fallen 29.4 percent, from 17 to 12. Compare that to the Bronx, where they have jumped 25.4 percent, from 118 to 148. And none of these stats include the mayhem of last weekend, when there were 21 shootings across the city, including a fatal one in Cambria Heights.
Today, the New York Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision that the Bloomberg administration exceeded its authority by passing a ban on large sugary beverages in 2012.
In basketball terms, Queens Head Coach Melinda Katz deployed a full-court press on Tuesday in her effort to revitalize Jamaica in any way a government or quasi-government agency can help.
The borough president brought together an all-star team for a four-hour working breakfast at York College with leaders in government, planning, education, transportation, infrastructure and economic development.
The battle to maintain manufacturing and industrial space has raged on for years on the hyperlocal level in many Queens neighborhoods and areas citywide.
Now, the City Council is requesting Mayor de Blasio to take significant action to ensure the survival of the city’s 21 industrial business zones.
Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) last week were singing the praises of an agreement on an approximately $75 billion budget.
Now the rest of the city, including Comptroller Scott Stringer, is waiting for the Council to vote on final adoption to see just how the city intends to spend the money, and where it will come from.
The outcome of the May 29 vote that gave Mayor de Blasio 10,400 universal pre-K seats in September was never really in doubt; nevertheless, the mayor was jubilant the next day when he discussed passage of his signature initiative in Queens Village.
De Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and Deputy Mayor Richard Buery spoke excitedly on a visit to the A to Z Center Too, one of 204 community-based prekindergarten providers approved last week by the Panel on Educational Policy.
The deal is done.
The United Federation of Teachers general membership approved their proposed contract with the city, the first in five years, on Tuesday. The union said the deal passed with more than 77 percent of the roughly 90,000 votes cast in favor.