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Public Advocate Bill de Blasio minces no words when asked why he is running for mayor and why he feels he is the best choice for the Democratic nomination.
“I am fundamentally dissatisfied with things in the city,” he said last week at a meeting with the editorial board of the Queens Chronicle.
For years, Walmart has tried to open a location in the five boroughs, but pushback from workers unions and the City Council have cast the superstore behemoth back to the suburbs.
Most recently, the retail giant intended to open shop in Brooklyn but was shot down by the Council in the fall of 2012, and it seemed as though the company had largely abandoned Operation: Get into New York City, for good.
City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden has announced the beginning of the official public review process for a 127-block rezoning of East Elmhurst and 14 block fronts along Roosevelt Avenue in Corona.
Existing zoning for residential areas has remained unchanged since 1961 and allow for a wide range of building types that may not be compatible with the “traditional built fabric” of the neighborhood, the city said.
The Richmond Hill South Civic Association’s most recent meeting, held at the United Methodist Church on 112 St. on May 30, included the reinstallation of its entire executive board and a special tribute honoring a local community leader, but the star attraction of the evening was unquestionably Margaret Finnerty, who was celebrating the 20th anniversary of her first installation as president, as a seemingly never-ending procession of local elected officials stopped by to sing her praises.
“It’s never about herself. It’s always about others,” said Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), on hand to dismiss the outgoing board, to whom he added, “Don’t give up fighting for this neighborhood. Without you, it just wouldn’t happen.”
Politicians, library staff and local residents held a rally on Tuesday in front of the Central Library in Jamaica in response to a proposed budget that would cut $29 million, shut 36 libraries and cut 420 jobs in the Queens Library system.
Queens Library President and CEO Thomas Galante, Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) and John Hyslop of the Local 1321 Queens Library Guild spoke about the importance of the libraries and also opened the floor up to local residents to share their personal stories of how cutting the library budgets would affect their daily lives.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott is standing by the state’s decision —blasted by many Queens parents— to hire inBloom Inc. a nonprofit group that will provide the technology to store student data in a central Education Data Portal.
“InBloom is not anything new,” Walcott said at a town hall Community Education Council 24 meeting on Tuesday. “In the past, information has always been shared with the state, it’s just that this particular company that will hold the data is new.”
The already crowded Democratic primary race for the 19th Council District recently grew by one, with the addition of civic activist and former chief of staff to embattled Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) Chrissy Voskerichian.
The 51-year-old touts what she considers a bevy of experience, both through her work as the co-founder of the Station Road Civic Association, president of the 109th Precinct Community Council, and yes, the time spent in Halloran’s office.
A duo of megalith sports franchises, the New York Yankees and Britain’s Manchester City Football Club, announced on Monday Major League Soccer’s 20th franchise and second foray in the tri-state metropolitan area: New York City Football Club.
As officials from MLS, the Bronx Bombers, Abu Dhabi-owned Man City and Mayor Bloomberg congratulated each other during a Tuesday press conference rolling out the franchise, there was one notable absence: the Unisphere, which had become ubiquitous in the league’s push to build a home in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The neighborhood of Corona south of Roosevelt Avenue is filled with two-story wood- paneled houses. The side streets are narrow and slope down to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and main streets such as Corona Avenue and 108th Street are lined mostly with brick two- and three-story buildings that have businesses on the ground floors and apartments above.
Establishments like the 60-year-old Lemon Ice King of Corona surround William Moore Park, which twinkles with strings of white lights at night.
It doesn’t say all that much for our political situation when it’s worth going out of our way to congratulate an honest politician. But that’s how it is.
“Shocker! Post finds honest NY politician” a New York Post page 2 headline blared last Saturday. That politician is Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who blew the whistle on a builder’s alleged efforts to bribe him.
A Hispanic male with dark curly hair, driving a gold minivan who has allegedly been exposing himself to young girls in South Richmond Hill is the subject of a police manhunt.
Deputy Inspector Thomas Pascale, the precinct’s commanding officer, told members of the 106th Precinct Community Council at their May 8 meeting in Ozone Park that the individual they seek has exposed himself three times to two different girls 14 and 19 years old in the area bounded by 111th and 116th avenues from 123th and 126th streets.
From his office on Bell Boulevard and 73rd Avenue, City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) says he can hear his frustrated constituents at the former Q75 bus stop swearing, yelling, and literally crying out for someone to restore the cancelled bus route.
The Q75, which ran from Oakland Gardens to the F train stations in Jamaica, was eliminated along with 32 other bus routes, 570 bus stops and two subway lines on June 27, 2010, a $93 million service reduction.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn,Queens) came to the May meeting of the Lindenwood Alliance, in the Fairfield Arms Co-op, to meet some of his new constituents.
Jeffries told the audience that he was concerned with resolving any issues that residents had with the Federal Emergency Management Agency regarding Hurricane Sandy.
The United States Tennis Association, three Queens elected officials and some parks advocates this week lauded a deal with the city that would have the nonprofit “replace” land it wants so it can expand its National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The accord reached between the nonprofit and city represents a unique bargain: according to a press release sent by the USTA, it replaces the 0.68 acre of parkland needed for its expansion with 1.56 acres of what looks like, is used as and mapped as existing parkland already within Flushing Meadows.
City Comptroller John Liu continues to run for mayor as if confident he can overcome the embarrassment of a campaign finance scandal that could send one of his top former aides and a contributor to prison for decades.
How much impact the case will have is an open question. But according to two political science experts in Queens, the Liu campaign faces multiple challenges arising from the convictions last week of Jia “Jenny” Hou, his former treasurer, and Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan, a fundraising “bundler,” who secured donations from other parties that then went to the campaign.
St. John’s University President Rev. Donald Harrington announced his retirement on Friday in the midst of enduring accusations of corruption.
The 67-year-old, who previously acknowledged that he accepted sumptuous gifts from crooked former Dean Cecilia Chang before she committed suicide, sent an email to students and faculty declaring that he will step down effective July 31. Harrington served as president of the University for 24 years.
A group that began seven months ago with a few people venting their complaints while eating at the Terrace Diner has evolved into a neighborhood movement, a force dedicated to making the Federal Aviation Administration and the Port Authority work for the residents of Northeast Queens to alleviate the noise and pollution from planes flying out of LaGuardia airport.
Approximately 200 people with similar frustrations attended the first Queens Quiet Skies community education meting on May 2 in the Bayside High School auditorium. While planes rumbled overhead, leaders and experts presented residents with legal and technical information and encouraged them to get more involved.
The responsibilities of a borough president have recently become the subject of debate. While some have said these borough-heads who cannot make any decisions on legislation are irrelevant, Queens borough president candidate Barry Grodenchik says the position is about more than rules and regulations.
“The job is about bringing people together,” Grodenchik said in a sit-down with the Queens Chronicle editors last Thursday. “We live in the most diverse place in the country and probably the world, and while it’s easy to scream and rant, the tougher job is to work with the people.”
The former treasurer of City Comptroller John Liu's campaign for mayor and one of his fundraisers were convicted of attempted fraud and other federal charges yesterday for their roles in accepting illegal contributions and attempting to rip off the taxpayers of New York City.
Jia "Jenny" Hou and Xing Wu "Oliver" Pan were each found guilty of playing a role in taking campaign contributions from straw donors — people whose names were entered as contributors even though someone else had provided the money — and could each face decades in prison.
Major League Soccer’s proposal to build a stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park has re-emerged this week, jangling a borough that has spent the better part of three months focused elsewhere.
The league once again contends it’s weeks away from finalizing a deal with the city, as it did last fall. This time, the league may have found an oil-rich owner for the proposed franchise: Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a billionaire member of the Abu Dhabi royal family and deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.
Seven-year-old Alec McFarlane looks at home at the Rosedale Little League field with his teal uniform and black glove.
He plays shortstop just like his idol, Derek Jeter. And like the Yankee captain, it will be a while before Alec can get out on the field and play again.
Residents and elected officials from Southeast Queens on Friday took what they hope is not a last look at about 700 trees in the Idlewild Park Preserve.
Nearly 400 of the trees have been marked by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as being potential hazards to planes landing at or taking off from John F. Kennedy International Airport.
On Tuesday the Department of Education released a new proposal to school and elected officials for students in the citywide gifted and talented program called STEM, after the agency’s original plan met an onslaught of negative responses.
Under the new proposal, STEM students now at PS 85 will attend K-4 at PS 17 at 28-37 29 St. and then continue with the direction of the same principal but inside classrooms at IS 126 at 31-51 21 St. The administration will split its time between the two facilities, according to District 30 Community Education Council Co-President Jeff Guyton.
Shot in Southeast Queens, “Let’s Get Bizzee” is a feature film that is said to truly inspire youngsters to make a change and be a part of the political process, according to director Carl Clay.
Clay’s re-released film will be featured on May 10 at the Black Spectrum Theatre followed by a panel discussion hosted by state Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton) on “Attack on Black Leaders: Corruption or Conspiracy?” at the event.
The chattering classes like to characterize state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) as the outspoken, fuming-red lawmaker from Northeast Queens who puts good government ahead of political gamesmanship; a sort of Stunt Pol who tackles Hurricane Sandy damage with a chainsaw and considers dicing his state-issued parking placard as an act of valor.
Well, to Tony Avella ... That sounds like just the guy to be the next borough president.