MillionTreesNYC, the initiative that aims to plant that many across the city in a 10-year period, is well on its way to achieving its goal, representatives from the Department of Parks and Recreation said at the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association’s monthly meeting on Saturday.
The project, which was kicked off in 2007 by then-Mayor Bloomberg and entertainer Bette Midler, founder of the New York Restoration Project, has already led to the planting of an estimated 938,000 trees in the five boroughs, Parks representatives said.
Residents in the Beach 41st Street Houses in the Rockaways have for years been told to be patient and wait for the installation of security cameras. Last Friday, the wait was over.
Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) said that while previous attempts to get the security cameras put in would be stalled for years, the Beach 41st system is an encouraging sign, coming as it does on the heels of recent installations in the Hammels and Ocean Bay developments.
State lawmakers will have to decide by June 30 whether to renew the law that gives the mayor control over public schools.
Prior to the law, first passed in 2002, schools throughout the city were run by an independent agency known as the Board of Education instead of the Department of Education.
As of July 1 the de Blasio administration will be enacting a ban on single-use expanded polystyrene foam. The material commonly found in coffee cups, clamshell containers and packing peanuts is widely known by the trade name of the similar “Styrofoam.”
The bill creating the ban, Local Law 142, passed in 2013 under the Bloomberg administration but its implementation was delayed to give manufacturers, primarily the Dart Container Corp., time to prove that recycling polystyrenes is a viable alternative to a ban. According to City Hall, Dart failed to do so.
A city law banning the use of expanded polystyrene foam, commonly referred to by the trade name Styrofoam, will take effect July 1, Mayor de Blasio announced Thursday.
Styrofoam coffee cups, food containers and packing peanuts will all become illegal for businesses to possess, sell or give away. The goal is to protect the environment.
Prior to his being buried in a private service at St. John Cemetery in Middle Village on Tuesday, a funeral service was held for former Gov. Mario Cuomo at St. Ignatius Loyola Church on Park Avenue in Manhattan. The service was attended by numerous officials past and present, including many from Queens. At the top, Gov. Andrew Cuomo mourns his father’s death with his girlfriend, Sandra Lee and his mother, Matilda Raffa-Cuomo. Below them, state troopers march in formation to the church. Clockwise from above are Mayor de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray; Rep. Grace Meng, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; celebrites Phil Donohue and Marlo Thomas; state Sen. Leroy Comrie and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and state Sens. Mike Gianaris and Joe Addabbo Jr. Among the many others attending were former mayors Mike Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani.
Prior to his being buried in a private service at St. John Cemetery in Middle Village on Tuesday, a funeral service was held for former Gov. Mario Cuomo at St. Ignatius Loyola Church on Park Avenue in Manhattan. The service was attended by numerous officials past and present, including many from Queens.
At the top, Gov. Andrew Cuomo mourns his father’s death with his girlfriend, Sandra Lee and his mother, Matilda Raffa-Cuomo. Below them, state troopers march in formation to the church. Clockwise from above are Mayor de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray; Rep. Grace Meng, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; celebrites Phil Donohue and Marlo Thomas; state Sen. Leroy Comrie and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and state Sens. Mike Gianaris and Joe Addabbo Jr.
On Jan. 1, 2014 the city’s Build it Back program had started zero renovations on Sandy-ravaged houses and sent out zero reimbursement checks.
More than a year later, construction has started on more than 331 homes across Queens, and finished 99, and borough residents have received more than $15.2 million in reimbursements for work they completed on their own house, according to Build it Back officials.
Jamaica High School’s campus lives on, but the historic school is no more, the victim, many say, of deliberate neglect at the hands of former Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s administration.
Tuscany, a region in central Italy, is well known for its culture and traditional foods. But you don’t have to cross the Atlantic Ocean to taste the cuisine.
That’s because a Howard Beach deli is keeping the tradition of Tuscan food alive with hearty, home-cooked dishes.
In an effort to help families affected by Superstorm Sandy rebuild their homes, the city’s Build it Back program is seeking a new construction manager for Queens.
“Since the mayor’s overhaul, this has been a year of significant progress,” Amy Peterson, director of the mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery, which oversees the Build it Back program, said in an email to the Queens Chronicle. “And we expect the onboarding of new construction firms — who will deploy new strategies to target entire neighborhoods — will continue to accelerate the city’s Sandy recovery.”
After a series of twists and turns, negotiations and debates, the Astoria Cove project was unanimously approved by the City Council on Tuesday.
The development — which includes waterfront access, affordable housing, a commercial corridor, green space and a school — is the first to be approved under the new affordable housing stipulations made by Mayor de Blasio this year.
With affordable housing becoming a focal point for Mayor de Blasio, the City Council issued a comprehensive report on another dwindling sector — industrial businesses.
On Nov. 19, Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito (D-Manhattan, Bronx) announced the city’s commitment to keeping manufacturing areas and Industrial Business Zones from becoming strictly residential.
Residents of Hamilton Beach are taking their fight to have a street in the community repaired to the highest level of City Hall.
Roger Gendron, president of the New Hamilton Beach Civic Association, has started a petition asking Mayor de Blasio to direct the Department of Transportation to repave 104th Street, which has been neglected for years.
Advocates and leaders of Richmond Hill High School last Thursday announced that the school’s much-maligned classroom trailers will be removed and replaced with a playground facility by spring 2015, and that seven additional classrooms will be constructed within the building to accommodate students.
“The school is returning to its former glory,” said Vishnu Mahadeo, president and executive director of the Richmond Hill Economic Development Council, at a press conference in the school’s auditorium.
It’s been two weeks since the City Council held a hearing for the latest project in Astoria Cove and after several days of confrontation with activists and elected officials, the proposal was approved by the zoning subcommittee on Wednesday.
As part of a last-minute deal, the development team, Astoria 2030, agreed to dedicate 27 percent of the residential units for affordable housing, up 7 percent from the original proposal.
After five long years it appears that the North Shore Marine Transfer Station in College Point is finished, but when will it open?
There have been problems along the way. Some people opposed it because of its location near LaGuardia Airport. They feared birds would be attracted to the site and ultimately cause accidents with planes.
Under former Mayor Bloomberg, there were 14,847 arrests on low-level marijuana charges made in the first eight months in 2013, while there were 15,324 during the same time period in 2014 under Mayor de Blasio.
Too often under the last administration in City Hall, the answer to the problems faced by schools whose students were struggling was to shut them down. Often it seemed like the option of first resort rather than of last resort, with former Mayor Bloomberg getting a poorly performing school in his sights — Jamaica High School is the perfect example — and then depriving it of the resources it would need to succeed, so he could then declare it a failure, close it and replace it.
Many schools in Queens were on his radar, and some barely escaped closure at the end of his tenure, thanks to a lawsuit filed by the United Federation of Teachers that successfully blocked the shutdowns. Those included John Adams High School in Ozone Park, Flushing High School and Long Island City High School.
The Federal Highway Administration and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are studying how to better transport freight across New York Harbor.
There will be two private briefings for elected officials and community leaders in Manhattan and New Jersey in two weeks, where the agencies will present a summary of its joint Environmental Impact Statement and an overview of the alternatives to how freight is transported.
Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) and four Latino city lawmakers sent a letter to Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton last week outlining their “deep concern” with the large number of low-level marijuana possession arrests that they said “unfairly” target black and Latino youths.
The letter came in response to a recent report from the Drug Policy Alliance, a New York-based advocacy group that promotes policy alternatives to the drug war. The report concluded that in the first eight months of the de Blasio administration, the Police Department exceeded the number of low-level marijuana arrests made during the same period last year, under the previous administration of Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Mayor de Blasio on Monday announced that 94 low-performing schools throughout the city, including 12 in Queens, would be designated “Community Schools” in an effort to improve test scores of struggling schoolchildren and move away from a policy of closing struggling city schools.
“We believe in strong public schools for every child,” de Blasio said at a press conference at the Coalition School for Social Change in Manhattan.
Douglas Avenue in Jamaica is not featured in glossy real estate ads or in the tours or literature offered by the Queens Borough President’s Office or the Greater Jamaica Development Corp.
The seven-block street, heading east between 168th and 175th streets, is uneven and seemingly is barely paved.
On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, elected officials in South Queens said they were happy to see the city’s Build it Back program making progress, but added that work still needs to be done to return people to their homes.
“On the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, it’s important to reflect on how far our community has come and identify the challenges that still remain,” said City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) in a written statement.
Some communities in Queens, such as Glendale and Elmhurst, view the Department of Homeless Services as an enemy, degrading their neighborhoods one homeless shelter at a time.
DHS Commissioner Gilbert Taylor, in a sitdown interview with Chronicle staff on Thursday, said he and the agency are both proactively and reactively dealing with the city’s homelessness crisis the best it can in their first year in office.