As students and teachers head back into the classroom, some parents and union officials are heading into the courtroom.
At issue are teacher tenure and other job protections for educators. The plaintiffs in two lawsuits filed against the state this summer — including two parents from Queens suing on behalf of their children — contend that tenure and the lengthy process for removing teachers are so onerous that many bad educators remain in the system, denying children their constitutional right to a sound basic education.
The City Council’s Land Use Committee voted unanimously 20-0, with three Council members marked absent, in favor of rezoning 176 Woodward Ave. in Ridgewood from manufacturing to residential.
The redesignation is sought by Aufgang Architects, a Rockland County-based development company, who plan to construct a four-story, 88-unit apartment building on the primarily unused 176 Woodward Ave. lot and a four-story, eight-dwelling residence at the adjacent 1901 Starr St. space.
An often-forgotten park on the shores of Jamaica Bay that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy is getting a fix up, thanks in part to a big donation from Resorts World Casino New York City.
The gaming facility, located about a mile away from the park, announced it will donate $40,000 to reconstructing the Hamilton Beach Playground in Hamilton Park. The playground, located on federal land between the A train subway tracks and Hawtree Creek, across from Charles Park, was devastated in Sandy and has not been repaired since.
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.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith addresses the audience at Majority Baptist Church in Jamaica on Aug. 14. Smith, former Councilman Leroy Comrie, left, and Munir Avery all are in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary for the 14th Senate District.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith’s pending retrial on federal corruption charges were never very far from the surface during an Aug. 14 candidate forum for the 14th Senate District.
But the forum did give Smith (D-Hollis), former Councilman Leroy Comrie and Munir Avery the opportunity for a freewheeling discussion on education, jobs, economic development, funding for the district and a host of issues that will be confronting the person sworn into office in January.
South and Central Queens are about to see the end of an era, when Mary Ann Carey retires as district manager of Community Board 9 on Oct. 1.
Carey is the longest-serving district manager in all of Queens. Hired 35 years ago during the Koch administration, she served under five mayors and four borough presidents. She began her tenure when Jimmy Carter was president, M*A*S*H was a hit show and the only Star Wars movie anyone had seen was “Star Wars.”
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.
Flushing’s Pomonok Housing was once considered the crown jewel of the NYC Housing Authority, but some tarnish has accrued over decades of neglect, mismanagement and budget cuts, according to tenants.
Monica Corbett, president of the Pomonok Residents Association, guided elected officials through the development last Thursday to show them the unkempt grounds, flooded parking lot, broken doors and overall lack of maintenance.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) appointed a lifelong Ozone Park resident to be his new chief of staff last week.
Sal Simonetti, who has been president of the Our Neighbor’s Civic Association in Ozone Park for several years, was promoted to the post. He had previously served as deputy to Ulrich’s former chief of staff Rudy S. Giuliani, who resigned last week after he was appointed borough director at the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations and the Build it Back Program, a position in which he will report directly to Amy Peterson, the head of the city’s Hurricane Sandy recovery program.
Councilman Danny Dromm greets and hands a backpack donated by the Queens Center mall to a parent at the Boulevard Family Residence on Tuesday.
Some children dread the end of the summer, as they know the school year and all the homework that comes with it are just around the corner.
Other children love walking with their friends in the hallways and tackling challenging schoolwork.
Tension between the Queensbridge Houses community and hotel owners has hit a boiling point.
At a rally held on Aug. 15 in front of the Center of Hope International, residents and community leaders called on Xiao Zhuang Ge, owner of the Howard Johnson Hotel in Long Island City, to keep what they say was his promise to hire members of the Queensbridge community.
Councilman Eric Ulrich, left, Carol Simon, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr., Borough President Melinda Katz and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder at the grand opening of the youth organization’s new building in Richmond Hill on Tuesday.
More than three years ago, dignitaries, civic leaders and even some South Queens residents gathered under a tarp in the lot next to what was then known as the South Queens Boys & Girls Club at 110-04 Atlantic Ave. in Richmond Hill to put shovels in the ground. On that chilly rainy April day, they promised to be back in several years to welcome the first children into a bigger, better club.
On Tuesday, three years, four months and a name change since the first brick was laid, and in noticeably different weather conditions, the job was done — for the most part.
Area civic leaders remain concerned about the future of the Klein farm property in Fresh Meadows following its recent sale to a convicted felon who illegally tore down trees on the protected site.
Ziming Shen of Manhattan, who runs a preschool on the historic Klein property at 194-15 73 Ave., remains under house arrest for stealing funds designated for poor children’s lunches from his chain of Red Apple preschools.
Come budget season this fall, Councilmembers Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) and Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn, Queens) will be kicking their feet up and allowing constituents to do at least a portion of their work for them.
The two lawmakers have announced they will be introducing participatory budgeting into their districts in the 2014-15 budget cycle, with residents getting the chance to brainstorm and vote for how $1 million in funds will be allocated in the area.
As controversy swirled around her a little more than a year ago, Community Board 9 District Manager Mary Ann Carey said she wanted to step down from her position on her own terms.
Now she appears to be doing that.
Queens’ members of the City Council did not miss many days of work, according to attendance records taken between January and May of this year, and when they did, it was often because they couldn’t be in two places at once.
The notable exception is one member who is under indictment.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) has been finding endorsements hard to come by in his battle to hold his 14th District seat.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith said last Thursday he will name names of those plotting to ruin him and other African-American officials in Southeast Queens via the criminal justice system when his retrial on federal corruption charges begins in January.
After pushback from area residents and community leaders, the FDNY has dropped a plan to relocate the spare and reserve fire engine fleet to 43rd Street in Sunnyside.
According to the original plans, the department wanted to use the site at 39-34 43 St. — a mostly residential area near a playground — as a warehouse and administrative building for the Bureau of Fleet Services.
State Senate candidate John Liu announced his transportation plan in northeastern Queens last Friday.
Liu is running against incumbent state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) in the 11th Senate District, perhaps the most highly contested race in Queens this year. If elected, Liu said he would pursue a six-point transportation agenda.
New York lawmakers are pressing the U.S. Senate to pass a bill that would create more opportunities for women-owned small businesses seeking federal contracts.
On Monday, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside) were joined by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows), state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) at Data Conversion Laboratory — a woman-run business.