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.
Councilman Donovan Richards presided last Saturday over the annual tree lighting in Brookville Park. The evening’s fare included live music and entertainment, holiday-themed activities and giveaways.
The tree at the center of the festivities was donated by Richards last year.
Gov. Cuomo bears some blame for Eric Garner’s homicide. Despite pleas from more than a dozen state legislators, he refused to appoint a special prosecutor for this explosive case. Relying on Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan to prosecute cops he works with is like asking Kim Kardashian to wear a burka.
Cuomo also imposes a double standard for enforcing New York’s tobacco tax law, which led to Garner’s death.
Cops busted Garner for selling a few untaxed cigarettes, called “loosies,” on the street. But native American tribes avoid punishment for selling cartons of untaxed cigarettes at reservation smoke shops to the public.
Tribes such as the Poospatuck in Mastic, LI reap huge profits while breaking the law. A federal judge ordered them to pay $10.5 million in excise taxes after Cuomo refused to crack down on their illegal cigarette sales. He also allows the Seneca and Shinnecock tribes to sell untaxed cigarettes on their “sovereign” soil. Cagey Cuomo plays fast and “loosie” with the law while people die as a result.
There are 170 youngsters living at the Kings Inn Family Center in East Elmhurst, and despite their circumstances, they are all looking forward to Christmas and some presents from Santa Claus.
The children range in age from infant to 18 years old. They are away from home and their friends, in a strange environment, and don’t know what their futures hold.
Re “No to shopping bag fees,” Editorial, Nov. 20:
Councilmembers Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) and Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan), in order to reduce the use of plastic bags, have suggested that charging 10 cents a bag would “incentivize” customers to become more environmentally conscious. Who asked them to make me environmentally conscious?
Plastic bags, now considered an environmental problem, were introduced when other politicians called a halt to paper bags in order to save the trees.
If this bill passes, New Yorkers will not only be paying 10 cents for every plastic bag, they’ll be paying the nonprofit distributors of the reusable ones, once the New York City cow is available to be milked. There isn’t a nonprofit organization in New York that isn’t subsidized by city taxes. A new boondoggle will have been created.
Lander, Chin and Councilman Donovan Richards argue that the 10-cent fee on each bag makes sense. To whom? Remember all the sense Obamacare made? Why should small businesses keep the 10-cent fee? When did New Yorkers agree to subsidize small businessmen? They also say it’s been shown that consu
mers don’t shop less when fees are enacted. Why would they shop less? You still have to buy the same amount of food. And health officials say reusable bags need to be washed if they’re not to incubate germs from leaking meat and other containers. Extra work, anyone?
Taxes and fees are becoming prohibitive in New York. Our councilmen should be seeking ways to lower, not to add to them.
In California, farmers are suffering from drought. The EPA cut off their water in order to save a snail on the edge of extinction. Unemployed people and farms no longer producing are OK, as long as the snail survives.
What we need is a law that requires politicians to give their ideas a trial run before inflicting them on the public, and then telling us how much sense they make.
Like Sen. Chuck Schumer, who pushed Obamacare on what Jonathan Gruber, the law’s chief architect, called “the stupidity of the American voters,” before anyone even read it, Lander, Chin and Richards should find something more worthy of their genius to occupy their minds.
Have they tried Tiddly Winks?
Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) has proposed a resolution that calls on the city to designate Jan. 13 as Korean-American Day to commemorate the anniversary of the first Korean immigrants’ arrival on United States territory in 1903.
Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, there are over 1.4 million Korean Americans living in the United States. An estimated 96,741 New York City residents are of Korean descent, of which two-thirds live in Queens.
The epic battle between animal rights groups and Central Park horse carriage drivers has come to a head as Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) announced a bill that would ban the centuries-old practice from the city’s most iconic park.
“The morality of a nation can be judged by the way society treats its animals,” Dromm said in a prepared statement. “Horses don’t belong on New York City’s congested streets amid cars and pollutions. There have been too many crashes and too many horse deaths and injuries to justify the continuation of this industry.”
cusing on children living at the Metro Family Residence in Woodside, one of the recipients in our 20th annual holiday toy drive.
There are 134 youngsters staying at that city homeless shelter now, ranging in age from infant to 18 years old. They are away from home and their friends and many must attend a new school.
This week, the Queens Chronicle’s 20th annual toy and gift drive is focusing on letters from youngsters living at the Boulevard Family Shelter in Elmhurst.
The facility, the former Pan Am Hotel, opened in June and now has 388 children living there.
When asked in recent days if New York should legalize marijuana for recreational use, a move that is supported by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan, Bronx), six of Queens’ 15 Council members gave varied responses.
All 15, including Councilman Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn), whose Brooklyn district also includes much of Ridgewood, were asked the same questions via email to their main spokespersons: Would you support the legalization of marijuana in New York? Why or why not? And how would how would it benefit or affect New York?
City officials this week said a storm sewer project aimed at reducing flooding in northeastern Laurelton should be completed by summer 2016.
The Department of Environmental Protection’s two-year, $18 million project will see 142 catch basins installed in neighborhood streets, leading to nearly four miles of new storm sewer lines.
Hundreds of needy children and teens will receive toys and gifts this holiday season thanks to the generosity of you, our Queens Chronicle readers.
Our 20th annual holiday toy drive begins now and runs through Dec. 22. Additional dropoff locations have been added throughout the borough, but of course the main site at the Chronicle office, 62-33 Woodhaven Blvd. in Rego Park will be open for deliveries Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The office is located about a quarter mile south of the Long Island Expressway, exit 19, on the east side of the street.
A proposal to charge consumers 10 cents for every single-use plastic bag they use at checkout is gaining traction again. City Hall held a discussion Wednesday to discuss a bill introduced by Councilmembers Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) and Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan) that’s designed to reduce disposable bag use in the city by implementing the 10 cent fee.
According to its sponsors, the goal of the bill isn’t to charge consumers the fee but to incentivize them to change their habits and become more environmentally conscious. Retailers would keep the money and the bill exempts transactions made using food aid programs.
Rosedale residents who for decades have put up with floods, and for more than a year with ripped up streets, curbs and sidewalks, are now looking forward to a near future with neither.
That was the hope that many came away with on Nov. 6 at a meeting of the Springfield/Rosedale Community Action Association, where representatives of the construction company and the city’s Economic Development Corp. gave a progress report.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) on Monday announced a citywide initiative to collect food items for homeless veterans.
“It’s a heartbreaking reality that veterans around the city struggle each day to get a hot meal,” Ulrich said on at a press conference.
Mayor de Blasio told a coalition of South Queens elected officials last Thursday that the city will no longer continue the popular Rockaway Ferry service to residents of the peninsula, according to a joint statement from seven politicians who had met with the mayor at City Hall.
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau), Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), state Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-South Ozone Park), Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park), Assemblywoman Michelle Titus (D-Far Rockaway) and City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) said in a joint written statement that they were “extremely disappointed at the decision to discontinue ferry service to the Rockaways.”
Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) and four Latino city lawmakers sent a letter to Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton last week outlining their “deep concern” with the large number of low-level marijuana possession arrests that they said “unfairly” target black and Latino youths.
The letter came in response to a recent report from the Drug Policy Alliance, a New York-based advocacy group that promotes policy alternatives to the drug war. The report concluded that in the first eight months of the de Blasio administration, the Police Department exceeded the number of low-level marijuana arrests made during the same period last year, under the previous administration of Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Douglas Avenue in Jamaica is not featured in glossy real estate ads or in the tours or literature offered by the Queens Borough President’s Office or the Greater Jamaica Development Corp.
The seven-block street, heading east between 168th and 175th streets, is uneven and seemingly is barely paved.
As the homeless population continues to escalate, the Department of Homeless Services has had to rely on the use of emergency shelters.
The procedure, which allows DHS to move residents into a newly converted shelter — usually an old hotel — within seven days of notifying the local elected officials, has grown increasingly unpopular among councilmembers whose districts have been affected.
Councilman Donovan Richards, left, joined by his staff, Riders Alliance members and Executive Director John Raskin, second from right, with some of the 5,000 petitions they have gathered in support of BRT bus service along the Woodhaven-Cross Bay Boulevard corridor.
Public Advocate Letitia James and 32 members of the City Council have sent a letter calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reject a series of ads that they say are anti-Muslim and could provoke violence.
The ads were purchased by the group American Freedom Defense Initiative, which claims they tell the truth about the dangers of radical Islam.
Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) brought his fight for faster bus service along the Woodhaven-Cross Bay Boulevard corridor to the steps of City Hall on Tuesday morning.
Backed by members and leadership of the Riders Alliance, Richards brought more than 5,000 petitions from bus riders along the corridor, all asking the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the city’s Department of Transportation to dedicate the money and manpower to establish a Bus Rapid Transit route.
The City Council’s Transportation Committee on Monday put the finishing touches on legislation that will reduce the speed limit on most streets in the city to 25 miles per hour.
The new law is slated to go into effect on Nov. 7. The existing limit is 30 miles per hour.
Following the theory that nothing succeeds like success, workers from the Doe Fund will increase their presence and their footprint as they clean business and commercial corridors within the 31st Council District.
Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) said the workers, who clean up litter and garbage from sidewalks and curbsides, have been such a success in Far Rockaway and along Francis Lewis Boulevard in Rosedale that his office has secured more funding to expand the program.
Harvest the power of the sun.
Mayor de Blasio announced Monday that the city will be funding the installation of solar panels on two dozen city schools, as part of the administration’s “One City, Built to Last,” green buildings plan.