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The new headquarters for New York Families for Autistic Children made the news long before its ribbon cutting on Sunday.
The sparkling new building, complete with giant jigsaw puzzle pieces — the symbol of autism advocacy — played a big role in a video shot by a news crew filmed from a motel across the street during Hurricane Sandy.
Call it the story of a local boy trying to do well for his hometown.
A familiar face to the corridors of power, Bayside native Austin Shafran kicked off his run for the City Council’s 19th District on Feb. 19, touting years spent working within the bounds of the political system, at the local, state and federal levels.
Maybe the lawmakers were too distracted by the death of former Mayor Ed Koch and their tributes to his tenure and tenacity that followed. Maybe the activists are too tired of the game. Maybe they’re all just confident that a lame-duck mayor won’t be able to get done things he’s tried and failed to get done year after year.
Whatever the reason, the remarkable thing is that so far, the dogs have done nearly nothing in the nighttime when it comes to Mayor Bloomberg’s budget plan for the next fiscal year, which he released last week.
Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows) has introduced a bill in Albany that would take control of the city’s schools out of the hands of Mayor Bloomberg and place it in a new Board of Education.
The bill’s main focus would be to change the structure of the Panel for Educational Policy, which would become the new Board of Education. Currently, the panel is made up of eight members appointed by the mayor and one from each borough, appointed by the respective borough presidents. That effectively gives the mayor an outright majority.
Tributes poured in last Friday for Ed Koch, the three-term mayor who personified New York City from 1978 through 1989, and who died early that morning at age 88.
They came unsolicited from elected officials across the city, and were echoed on the street by the people of Queens.
A plan to create a residential building that would cater to the mentally disabled on Queens Hospital Center’s campus have community activists concerned about safety and already overburdened services.
The hospital’s “T-Building,” located at 82-61 Parsons Blvd. in Jamaica, would be transformed into a 251-unit affordable housing complex aimed at assisting veterans and those with developmental disabilities and physical ailments.
It wasn’t supposed to happen again.
On Jan. 3, 1999, 32-year-old Kendra Webdale was pushed to her death in front of a New York City subway train. Her killer, Andrew Goldstein, was diagnosed as schizophrenic, but was not taking his medication.
Marie Adam-Ovide, the district manager of Community Board 8, has thrown her hat into the 31st District City Council race to replace James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton), who was elected to the senate. A special election to fill his seat will be held in March.
“I take great pride in helping people,” Adam-Ovide said. “It is very rewarding to be able to make a difference in people’s lives. I am putting my knowledge and skills to work at CB 8, but I felt I could do so much more to help the community where I live. I have the right skill set to help the community.”
Take your big-ticket 2012 headlines about superstorms and elections and throw them out the window for a moment. Sure, the year was filled with its fair share of natural and political change. But scratch a little deeper and you’ll find 2012 was the year residents felt divorced from their government, when city agencies were called out for dubious practices.
The year was pockmarked with calls for transparency and fair representation. In short, there was often a gulf between government’s practices and voters’ desires.
Readers of my letters to the editor over the years will not be surprised to learn that the city Campaign Finance Board has charged state Assemblyman David Weprin with numerousviolations from his ill-fated 2009 city comptroller campaign.Weprin personally owes $28,000 in penalties and his old campaign committee must return $325,561 in matching public campaign funds.
How ironic that former City Council Finance Committee Chairman Weprin’s claim to fame for holding or running for higher public office was his so-called “financial expertise.” Responsibility for adhering to all CFB rules and regulations resides with Weprin, along with his campaign manager and finance directors. They clearly could not balance and properly manage his city comptroller campaign budget, which resulted in all these fines.
Weprin raised and spent several million dollars. A majority came from “pay-to-play” fundraisers, from $1,000 to $4,900 per contributor. These dollars supported his numerous quests to hold various public offices and leadership positions. Contributors were looking to making political investments today in return for favors in the future.
All the money in the world could not buy Weprin victories in his bids for City Council speaker in 2001 and 2005, state Comptroller in 2007 and Congress in 2011.
Weprin’s September 2009 Democratic primary loss for city comptroller was devastating. Out of 351,000 Primary Day voters, only 38,922 actually voted for Weprin. Having raised and spent almost $2.5 million dollars, each vote cost him $64 representing a terrible return on his investment.
Perhaps Weprin should consider taking a finance course to rekindle his accounting skills.
Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) owes over $28,000 in fines after the city’s Campaign Finance Board found violations with his 2009 comptroller campaign filings.
Parents call it the “Jewel of Bayside,” or perhaps more specifically, it’s a sapphire.
The pale brick building on the east side of Springfield Boulevard, blends in with the college and high school it sits adjacent to, but inside the structure is an institution of learning that has gotten the attention of education officials right up to those in Washington, DC, who awarded it a prestigious honor this year.
Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck), left, and state Sen. Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn) wrote bills this year that would guard against price gouging that is alleged against three Queens gas stations in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. They spoke Sunday in Manhattan.
Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck), right, presented the Queens Museum’s ArtAccess program on Nov. 16 with a $5,000 check.
The program has been recognized for bringing the arts to visitors with special needs.
Business owners who took New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s recent talk about post-Hurricane Sandy price gouging as an idle threat may now find themselves in legal trouble in the coming weeks.
Schneiderman’s office last week notified 13 gas station owners — including three in Queens — that he will initiate enforcement proceedings against them for allegedly violating state price gouging laws.
More than 200 people gathered on the steps of Borough Hall on Monday as political and civic leaders embraced Israel’s cause during this latest round of rocket attacks.
The rally was organized by the Queens Jewish Community Council, and drew numerous elected officials from city and state government.
Familiar community faces and notable politicos were on hand Oct. 25 for the grand opening of the Margaret Tietz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center’s new kosher kitchen.
The nonprofit expanded and renovated its in-house eatery to serve the denizens of its cavernous, 200-bed facility.
If we can take one good piece of news from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, it’s that people come together to help each other in times of crisis. All around the borough, elected officials, community leaders and area businesses are collecting supplies to help those battered by the storm.
• Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) is collecting clothing, shoes, diapers, toiletries, and children’s toys, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at his office, on the second floor of 56-21 Marathon Parkway in Little Neck. It can be reached at (718) 428-7900.
If we can take one good piece of news from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, it’s that people come together to help each other in times of crisis. All around the borough, elected officials, community leaders and area business are collecting supplies to help those battered by the storm.
This week the Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations of New York City, which represents more than 250,000 retired city workers, announced that three candidates for office in Queens had signed its pledge to oppose any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and unemployment insurance. The candidates all pledged in fact to spend more on those programs, agreeing to “adjust them to the rising cost of living.”
The three are all Democrats, office holders already, one seeking higher office, one defending his seat against a tough challenge and one running for re-election unopposed. They are, respectively, Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who’s running for the 6th Congressional District seat against City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone); state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), who’s running to retain his seat against Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park); and Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck), who has no opponent.
Minority residents from Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park and Elmhurst came out en masse to last Wednesday’s Districting Commission meeting held at LaGuardia Community College to collect public comments about proposed City Council lines. They said their neighborhoods should be united to stop the fracturing of minority populations.
The lines are being redrawn as mandated by the results of the 2010 U.S. Census. Though created by the city, all lines must be redrawn under certain federal guidelines with an effort to keep neighborhoods together, and to create contiguous districts of residents and neighborhoods with “common concerns and interests.”
Seven candidates for the state Legislature dropped by St. John’s University on Tuesday for what amounted to a pop quiz from potential voters and future constituents.
The forum, held in the law school amphitheater, featured three pairings of opponents Nov. 6, including State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) and Republican J.D. Kim in the 16th District; state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and Republican Joseph Concannon in the 11th; and Abe Fuchs (R) and Nily Rozic (D), candidates running in the 25th Assembly District.
For more than a decade, Sikh-Americans who also wanted to be New York City police officers have had to decide between their career and certain aspects of their religious tradition, and a number of city officials, including Comptroller John Liu, are pushing to change that.
NYPD policy bans beards, which observant Sikhs wear, and does not allow turbans commonly worn by Sikhs to be worn on duty because they do not fit under the officers’ standard hat. The policy has been challenged with mixed success for over a decade, but the official rules are still in place.
In at least two recent cases, public affairs have clashed with a belief of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish religion, prohibiting followers from attending a public hearing and almost stopping them from voting.
The issue is that entering the sanctuary space of a church is prohibited for them.
For more than a decade, Sikh-Americans who also wanted to be New York City police officers had to decide between their career and certain aspects of their religious tradition and a number of city officials, including Comptroller John Liu, are pushing to change that.