“There could not have been a Gregory Meeks if there wasn’t a Malcolm X,” the congressman who represents Southeast Queens on Capitol Hill said.
Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau) was looking directly at Ilyasah Shabazz, a daughter of the slain civil rights leader, when he said that, citing the deep effect her father had had on his early life.
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.
Four top Queens Library officials resigned last week as the institution continues to reorganize following the ouster of its longtime president amid a financial and management scandal and criminal probe.
The four executives who quit, who all bore the title of vice president, are Darlene Askew-Robinson, the library’s general counsel; Lisa Epps, who handled information technology; Angelica Huynh-Rivera, the head of human resources; and Frank Genese, who oversaw capital projects.
Four top Queens Library officials resigned this week as the institution continues to reorganize following the ouster of its longtime president amid a financial and management scandal and criminal probe.
It doesn’t happen often in government that we get a golden opportunity to broadly improve the education of our children, but with the expiration of mayoral control of our school system and the pending negotiations to extend it, we have only one clear mission – let’s get it right for the sake of our children.
Mayoral control over New York City’s education system is up for renewal in June of this year. In this situation, my fellow government colleagues and I in the state Legislature can vote to pass, amend or cancel the 2002 law that gives the mayor and his administration the power to appoint a schools chancellor, oversee the system’s operating budgets and make decisions about how the city will try to lift student achievement across thousands of schools. The law also created the Panel for Educational Policy, in which eight of 13 members are selected by the mayor.
Our city is protected by the greatest police department in the world. The men and women of the NYPD have driven crime down to historic lows and have made New York the safest big city in America. Despite the phenomenal job cops have done in fighting crime, many police officers feel like they receive little support from elected officials at City Hall. And they’re right!
Mayor de Blasio campaigned on the theme of ending the so-called “tale of two cities.” Ironically, under his administration our city is more divided than ever. Before the assassinations of Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, de Blasio publicly praised police protesters, rolled out the red carpet for Al Sharpton, even giving him equal footing with Commissioner Bill Bratton at a press conference, and condoned the nearly two dozen members of the City Council who staged a “die-in” demonstration on the steps of City Hall. Sadly, the rift between the mayor and the rank-and-file was on full display at the funeral of Rafael Ramos when hundreds of police officers turned their backs on him as he spoke.
The Queens Jewish Community Councilheld its legislative breakfast at Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills this past Sunday morning as planned, but the event took on an even more urgent feel than might have originally been expected, as the focus shifted to include the recent terrorist attacks in France.
Originally, the central issue was to be security at area synagogues, a concern that has grown following recent incidents in Jerusalem and Crown Heights in Brooklyn.
The message was loud and clear.
The NYPD deserves better than this.
Year in review compilations are very popular with people around Jan. 1, and Community Board 4 is no different.
City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) both spoke at length about their 2014 accomplishments and 2015 goals to the board, which didn’t have a quorum until a few members trickled in late, on Tuesday.
“Let’s hear it for public schools!” city Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) said before a passionate crowd last Thursday evening.
Dromm, chairman of the Council’s Education Committee and a former teacher of 25 years, was among fellow electeds, parents, school administrators and other advocates at the State of Our Schools Town Hall, which took place in the auditorium of PS 69 in Jackson Heights.
The message was loud and clear.
The NYPD deserves better than this.
Over 150 supporters gathered in the cold on Tuesday at Borough Hall to take part in a pro-police rally, organized by retired Capt. Joe Concannon, with multiple city and state civic, religious and political groups declaring their unconditional support for the NYPD.
Emma (McKenzie) Young, 94, a stalwart of the black community in Bayside, died Dec. 28 at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s hospice care following a massive stroke she suffered on Nov. 24.
Young, known as “Nan” and “Mama Hattie” to her friends, was born in Munnerlyn, Ga. and moved to Bayside with her family at the age of 13.
Ralph Gonzalez was elected as the new Community Board 9 chairman in March.
The Central Queens neighborhoods of Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and Briarwood are mostly made up of quiet, residential streets that, when you look around, can make you forget about the hustle and bustle of city life.
But that doesn’t mean news was sparse there in 2014.
It was a tense 2014 in the City of New York. And that was especially true in the largely residential Queens neighborhoods of Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Glendale and Elmhurst.
Whether it was the stealthy opening of a homeless shelter in Elmhurst or the continued fight over placing one in an abandoned factory in Glendale, southwest Queens residents found themselves battling city government at different times throughout the year.
2014 began with tragedies in Western Queens. From the death of a 7-year-old to the discovery of Avonte Oquendo’s remains, it was a difficult winter. But not all of 2014 was bad. Many traffic-calming measures were installed throughout the borough to make Queens streets safer and a huge chunk of affordable housing was set aside in the Astoria Cove project. Here’s a look back at the top stories from the past 12 months.
The year started out with the installation of two new city councilmen — Paul Vallone of Bayside and Rory Lancman of Fresh Meadows. Vallone replaced Dan Halloran, who did not seek re-election following his indictment on federal bribery charges. Lancman replaced Jim Gennaro, who was term-limited out of office.
Southeast Queens had a year with a new mayor and old problems with accusations of political corruption, and possibly lost ground in its fight to keep airplane noise under control.
Many South Queens residents rang in 2014 with a lot of questions still on their mind. When would the city begin restoring homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy? When would the city address flooding issues in Lindenwood? Would Mary Ann Carey give in to pressure and resign as the district manager of Community Board 9?
Some of those questions, and others, were answered throughout the past 12 months, but still even more questions have been raised or have yet to be answered.
For a group of undocumented students at the City University of New York called the CUNY DREAMers, it boils down to one thing: Pass the DREAM Act.
That was the message they brought to Albany recently, urging Gov. Cuomo to include funding for the DREAM Act in his executive budget proposal next year. The act would allow undocumented students who meet in-state tuition requirements to access state financial aid and scholarships for college. It would also open 539 tuition savings accounts for all New York youth and establish a commission to raise private funds for a college scholarship program.
In response to Long Island City resident objections, Councilman and Chairman of the Cultural Affairs Committee Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) has drafted new legislation that would increase the public’s involvement with future community art projects.
The Percent for Art program, sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs, is a city initiative to place pieces of art in various communities for residents to enjoy.
A recent report in the Daily News by Juan Gonzalez, whose exposÈ of some Queens Library spending late last January sparked the public controversy that has surrounded the institution since then, says that President and CEO Tom Galante could be out of a job by the time you read this.
The Library Board of Trustees was set to meet Wednesday night, after the Queens Chronicle went to press. According to Gonzalez, the members will be receiving a report on Galante’s spending that will include a recommendation that he be fired, but that could not be confirmed by this newspaper.
Ozone Park resident Eduardo Venegas has been waking up at 5:30 a.m. to the sound of idling school buses for the past two years, and he’s sick of it.
“I’m thinking that I might have to move out of here,” he said. “They honk, double-park and litter all around the street.”
The clock is ticking and soon the 20th annual Queens Chronicle Toy Drive will be over. Won’t you please contribute before the deadline on Monday, Dec. 22?
This year, the Chronicle is collecting gifts for children in four Queens city homeless shelters and a safe house in Eastern Queens for victims of domestic violence.
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.”