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.
Developers, left, with elected officials including Borough President Melinda Katz, center, Councilman Peter Koo, Rep. Grace Meng, state Sen. Toby Stavisky and Assemblyman David Weprin.
Not long after this year’s graduating seniors were admitted, the city Department of Education moved for a second time to close Jamaica High School and, after four years of slowly being phased out, the school graduated its final 24 students on Thursday, June 26, 2014.
“You are the 175th graduating class,” Principal Erich Kendall told the graduates, “and there will not be a 176th.”
On Friday, June 27, Chapin Home for the Aging in Jamaica inducted into their “Century Club” 14 residents: Thirteen are 100 plus and one almost there at 99. These residents, families and friends were treated to an afternoon of celebration receiving proclamations hand-delivered by NY state Sen. Tony Avella who gave a spirited speech on what the celebrants have meant to our city and state.
Avella made his way around the crowded room making sure to greet each celebrant with a handshake and kind word. Also sharing words of support and celebration were Assemblyman David Weprin who also arranged for certification for each of the centennial celebrants and Councilman Rory Lancman. Although unable to attend, City Councilman Paul Vallone made sure to send certificates from his office.
The city’s Department of Transportation has agreed to extend a one-way section of 168th Street in the wake of an accident that badly injured a 16-year-old student at a Jamaica Hills religious school.
Councilmember Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) and Akhter Hussain of the Jamaica Muslim Center said Tuesday that a northbound one-way zone existing between Hillside and Highland avenues, will be extended to include the block running between Highland and Gothic Drive.
For years, voter turnout in the 38th Assembly District has been among the worst in the state.
But two men are looking to change that and will square off this fall in the race for Democratic district leader.
The battle for dedicated mass-transit funding moved from the seats of government to the streets of Jamaica last week.
Locals 1056 and 1179 of the Amalgamated Transit Union went to the Parsons Boulevard-Archer Avenue subway station in Jamaica on Friday to enlist public backing in their effort to get increased funding from the city, state and federal government for increased service and infrastructure.
The Glen Oaks attorney who had been considering a challenge against state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows) in this year’s Democratic primary has decided against making the run.
Ali Najmi told the media on Monday that he will not go forward with his campaign, but said he will remain involved in the political process and indicated he will make a run for elective office someday.
Seniors and other New York City residents with low water use could get a break on their water and sewer bills if measures proposed by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows) pass in the legislature.
The bills would let the city charge users only for the water they use, and eliminate the current minimum charge for water of 49 cents a day that all must pay no matter how low their usage might be.
State Assemblyman David Weprin, left, may face a challenge from attorney Ali Najmi. Who has more support among voters of South Asian descent is an issue.
State Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows), facing a potential challenger of South Asian descent, last week touted the endorsements of three organizations representing residents who trace their lineage to or have immigrated from that part of the world.
But it turns out two of the three endorsements, announced in a late March press release from Weprin’s spokesman, were not real.
A town hall meeting organized by Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) on April 30 was aimed at giving Briarwood residents a chance to meet with elected officials and bring up issues and concerns with city departments ranging from Buildings to Sanitation to the NYPD.
But it was the ongoing construction around the Kew Gardens Interchange — and the frequently delayed effort to refurbish the northern entrance to the Briarwood-Van Wyck subway station — that had most of the more than 40 residents on edge during the meeting.
A possible contender for Assemblyman David Weprin’s District 24 seat has emerged, though he will not yet confirm he’s running.
Fellow Democrat Ali Najmi, an attorney from Glen Oaks, is holding a fundraiser in Manhattan on May 19 that he has posted on Facebook. The invitation mentions the state Legislature and four issues Najmi wants to address in Albany: economic development, education, housing and senior citizens.
The wall is up, the people are angry, and, according to state Sen. Tony Avella, “a stop work is going into effect.”
At the center of the controversy is the construction of a new 35-foot-high building, which would sit atop a hill that is already approximately 10 feet above curb level, in the middle of a tree-lined residential neighborhood in Little Neck.
Flanked by Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, left, and Assemblyman David Weprin, Borough President Melinda Katz thanks Stop & Shop for the sizable donation to the Queens Jewish Community Council’s food pantry.
With time running out, the Richmond Hill High School community called out the big guns to help fight plans to close its annex this year and move more than 400 students back to the notoriously overcrowded school.
During a town hall meeting Tuesday night hosted by state Sen. James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park), elected officials and school leaders demanded the city Department of Education rescind the closure of the school’s 402-seat annex at the former St. Benedict Joseph Labre school building several blocks away at 94-25 117 St.
Councilman Rory Lancman, center, stands with Assemblyman David Weprin and officials of the Al-Mamoor School that just opened in Flushing.
State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton) and Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows) have introduced and continue to back bills that would prohibit discrimination in the workplace against attire that is worn for a religious purpose.
The legislation, which has passed the Assembly but not yet the Senate, was introduced in response to a series of cases and concerns from religious communities throughout New York that have seen workplace discrimination due to individuals’ religious garb or facial grooming.
With reference to your article, (“Briarwood station may be renamed,” March 20, Central Queens edition), the Briarwood Community Association fully endorses the proposed legislation offered by State Sen. Tony Avella (Senate Bill 6816) and Assemblyman David Weprin (A00789) for the full renaming of the Briarwood subway station. We strongly believe the action to be well-reasoned and in the best interests of subway riders.
Founded in 1973, the BCA has a decades-long history of serving the interests of the Briarwood community. With hundreds of families from the four corners of our community, we have, through heavily attended public meetings and heavily distributed newsletters, been able to represent and best reflect the interests of our community’s residents. Our association has made possible, among its other efforts, the Briarwood branch public library, the U.S. Post Office station, the Queens Boulevard Promenade and the partial name change to date of our local subway station, which we have advocated since 1997.
New York City Transit has long since endorsed removing the reference to the Van Wyck Boulevard. The subway station lies at the center of the east/west boundaries of our community and serves exclusively the residents of Briarwood. The new name will more appropriately identify the station’s geographic location for subway riders. Further, the proposal does not in any manner involve, nor impinge upon any other neighboring community. Van Wyck Boulevard has not existed as a street for over 60 years, having been wiped out with the construction of the Van Wyck Expressway and the Main Street extension.
The timing is most appropriate now, with the current state Department of Transportation reconstruction of the Queens Boulevard bridges, the subway passageway, elevator and the construction of two new entrances. (The Kew Gardens Interchange Project, Phase 1). The ongoing inclusion of the current names at two subway stations and separate lines is both deceptive, immaterial and a long-standing point of confusion for subway riders.
Now more than ever, with the soon-to-be new and bright station entrances, it would be most appropriate to recognize Briarwood for the vibrant, cohesive, activist and much respected community that it is, with a station name changes to simply, “Briarwood.”
Ongoing construction might not result in the only change coming to the Briarwood-Van Wyck Boulevard subway stop this year.
Legislation put forth by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) last Thursday would require the MTA to remove the reference to Van Wyck Boulevard in the station’s name, instead calling it just “Briarwood.”
Assemblyman David Weprin, left, joins City Comptroller Scott Stringer along the parade route.
In the last week a number of elected officials have lamented the Department of Education’s decision not to withdraw the co-location plans at Martin Van Buren High School. Unfortunately, these local elected officials are out of sync with the local community on this issue.
Just prior to the mayoral election, civic leaders from nine of the largest civic associations in eastern Queens, representing thousands of families zoned for MVB, met and voted unanimously with one abstention to support the DOE’s P-Tech co-location proposal. A P-Tech school focuses on certain technical skills with a pathway to a tuition-free college education and a career.
Decades of failure have transformed MVB from a school having deep community roots into one where 96 percent of its student population comes from outside of the local area. The thousands of families represented by these civic leaders are in distress over sending their kids to MVB. The P-Tech co-location initiative attempts to fast-track the turnaround of MVB and create a safe school environment.
Local parents of high school-age students are stressed out by the thought of sending their kids to MVB. Despite valiant attempts at improvement, MVB’s School Environment Rating is stuck at an unacceptable “D.” Recently installed school Principal Sam Sochet, who is popular with the local community, has had some success, raising the school report card to a “C,” but more than a decade of decline has made that job difficult for one person. The MVB “brand” is dead and needs to be reinvented. This reinvention begins with P-Tech: a school within a school providing its graduating students with a tuition-free two-year college education at Queensborough Community College and a pathway to a career with one of the “Fortune 500” corporate partners of the program.
Handled properly, the P-Tech co-location will attract a student body from the local community that is more engaged in the educational experience. Over time this will boost local enrollment of students as parental perception changes and the excellent programs being initiated by Principal Sochet take root and become more widely known.
I urge Councilman Mark Weprin, state Sen. Tony Avella and Assemblyman David Weprin to rethink their opposition and embrace the P-Tech co-location rather than seeking its demise. Join us in our support of this initiative and help return this failed school to its storied and illustrious past.
World War II veteran James Dikeman, 91, of Little Neck, seated left, finally got the military honors he deserved at a ceremony last week sponsored by Rep. Steve Israel, standing left.
Dikeman, who served as an infantryman from 1942-45, was injured in Tunisia in 1943. Israel learned last year that the veteran never received the nine medals he was due because his military records were destroyed in a fire.
Officials eye higher fines, lower fines for not shoveling snow
The cost to property owners of not removing snow from sidewalks would go up under a bill before the City Council — and down, but only for some people, under a separate proposal.
Pols say ‘Adoptee Bill of Rights’ is key for medical records –
A bill pending in Albany that was sponsored by a Queens assemblyman would allow adopted New Yorkers to access their birth certificates and medical records, which they are barred from doing.