Mayor de Blasio is facing the biggest crisis of his year-old administration so far — one largely of his own making — as there does not yet appear to be any narrowing of the divide between City Hall and the rank and file of the NYPD. De Blasio met with the top brass and police union leaders at the Police Academy in College Point Tuesday in an effort to repair the rift, and we certainly hope progress was made.
But while relations with the police are vital for any mayor — and divisions can have a negative impact on public safety, his No. 1 responsibility — most violent crime continues to decline. According to the latest statistics available, the city was on track to see 15 or so fewer murders in 2014 than it had the year before. The total will end up not much above 300, and many readers will remember when it was typically around 2,000. We were concerned that changes to police policy under de Blasio could reverse the downward trend, but are glad to see that hasn’t happened. He and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton deserve credit for that, as do the men and women of the police force.
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.
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Challengers in the Oct. 8 Board of Directors election at Rochdale village defeated four incumbents, while two current members seen as allies of the dissident residents retained their seats.
A group of more than 200 residents at the Jamaica co-op has been increasingly critical in recent months of the incumbents’ management of the complex’s day-to-day operations and its finances.
Brian McLaughlin is a free man.
The former Flushing assemblyman, who served six years for racketeering and other charges, was released Friday from Schuylkill Federal Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania.
Anticipated to be a nail-biter, the Democratic primary race for state Senate in the 11th District, which covers much of Northeast Queens, did not disappoint.
Shortly after midnight on Tuesday, various sources, including The New York Times and NY 1, indicated that, with 95 percent of the precincts reporting, incumbent Tony Avella led challenger John Liu 52.2 percent to 47.8 percent.
2013 elections show the campaign finance law works, study says
With two high-profile state Senate primaries in Queens on Tuesday, one that has not garnered nearly the same amount of attention is the one in the 10th District.
Incumbent state Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-South Ozone Park) is running for his second term.
A veteran politician and an avowed reformer will face off against each other in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the 16th State Senate district seat.
S.J. Jung, a Flushing businessman who has never held office, will be pitted against 14-year incumbent Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing). Since redistricting, the area now has a majority Asian population at 53 percent, with whites at 24 percent, according to the Center for Urban Research.
S.J. Jung is a man on a mission. He wants to get elected to the state Senate and make campaign finance and ethics reforms in Albany.
That’s a tall order for the 50-year-old, who has never held elected office. He ran in 2009 for the City Council seat in Flushing, losing by 183 votes in the Democratic primary. Now Jung is opposing incumbent Sen. Toby Stavisky, who has represented the 16th District for 14 years.
Incumbent state Sen. Tony Avella relishes his label as a maverick and is hoping it will carry him through to victory on Sept. 9.
That’s when the Democratic primary for the 11th state Senate District seat will be held. He will face former Comptroller John Liu and since no Republican is running in November, the primary victor will go to Albany for the next two years.
During a low-key forum Tuesday night between Democratic state Senate hopefuls John Liu and incumbent Tony Avella, the only real sparks were provided by a handful of hot-headed members of the audience, who temporarily brought the proceedings to a halt.
Throughout the 90-minute session at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing, which drew about 200 mostly Asian-American constituents, Avella and Liu never came face to face. But each offered plenty of allusions — direct or indirect — to the other, making it clear that the competition between them for the 11th District seat is on.
He has plenty of campaign funding, support from the Democratic Party and backing from many large unions, but does John Liu have what it takes to beat incumbent state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) for the 11th District seat?
Liu thinks so and in a recent interview at the Queens Chronicle office elaborated on why he should wrest the seat from Avella, who has held it since 2010. He cited party unity, his legislative and fiscal experience and his ability to work with others.
Tuesday’s press conference on a St. Albans Street corner was intended to cement support at all levels of government for Leroy Comrie.
But the longest shadow at the Farmers Boulevard meeting may have been cast by a man who was not there, and whose name was not mentioned by speakers until they were confronted with it.
Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau) is set to join the parade of local officials endorsing former Councilman Leroy Comrie in his bid to unseat state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis).
With only six weeks to go in what is likely to be the borough’s most competitive campaign this year, state Senate candidate John Liu outlined his proposals for education if voters in the 11th Senate District opt to send him to Albany.
The former Flushing councilman and city comptroller, who is running in the Democratic primary against state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) next month, focused on three different points regarding school policy at a press conference last Friday outside Bayside High School: Common Core, class sizes and mayoral control. But he also offered his opinion on proposals to reform the admission process to specialized city high schools.
On July 7, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino told a group of supporters in Queens Village, “If we can raise enough money, we can win this thing.”
He’d best get cracking, according to campaign finance reports filed with the state’s Board of Elections by his and Gov. Cuomo’s campaign this week.
Campaign finance reports have revved up the interest and the rhetoric in the state’s 11th Senate District, while in the 14th they brought more bad news for 14-year incumbent Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis).
Former city Comptroller John Liu, who joined the race less than two months ago, reported more than $508,000 in donations to his campaign to unseat incumbent Tony Avella (D-Bayside) in the 11th District Democratic primary in reports that were due by 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday.
Shortly after he was kicked out of the state Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference in 2013, people in Albany and Southeast Queens began calling him the man without a party.
Now locked in a primary battle for his political survival and a federal corruption trial restarting in January, state Sen. Malcolm Smith apparently can only watch as every party leader, elected official and natural Democratic constituency group lines up behind former Councilman and Deputy Borough President Leroy Comrie.
This was supposed to be the week John Liu was to be surging with major political and union endorsements; the week state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) was supposed to be glancing nervously into his rearview mirror.
And it was — until about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, when Mayor de Blasio endorsed Avella and the Working Families Party withdrew its pledged endorsement of Liu, choosing to remain neutral in the Democratic primary in the 11th Senate District.
U.S. Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau) sailed easily through Tuesday’s primary for the Democratic nomination for the 5th District in November’s general election.
Unofficial results provided by the New York State Board of Elections gave Meeks 80.1 percent of the vote.
The New York State Legislature wrapped up formal business for the year last Thursday, and elected officials from Queens, chosen in a random sample, are characterizing the session as an overall success.
“The short answer is yes,” Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) said, starting with one of the basics.
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.