For the second week in a row, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has announced he’s saved a senior center from closing —and a third one is expected to be announced next week.
On Tuesday, Avella met with members of the College Point Senior Center, a satellite of the North Flushing Senior Center, to tell them that their worst fears have been allayed. He presented the center with a $100,000 check from the taxpayers, which is expected to keep the facility open for at least two years.
The labor war between United Parcel Service and its 250 fired employees is finally over.
UPS and Teamsters Local 804 agreed to a compromise on April 9, and the delivery company announced it will retain the 250 employees it had begun firing from its Maspeth facility in response to a walkout the workers organized in protest of a colleague’s termination on Feb. 26.
Councilman Danny Dromm, center, announces the reopening of PS 69 and the Renaissance Charter School as polling sites with Jackson Heights resident Abby Drucker and Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan.
Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan and residents celebrated the reopening of two polling sites in Jackson Heights on April 9, after they had been shuttered for about two years.
The BOE had changed polling sites for the 46th and 47th Election Districts in the 39th Assembly District from PS 69 on 37th Avenue to PS 222 on the same street about a half mile away. In addition, Renaissance Charter School on 81st Street had also been closed.
State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), in conjunction with the 82nd Street Partnership, will host a forum for restaurateurs and small business owners to learn about proposed changes to the restaurant letter-grade and fine system as well as the new paid sick leave law.
“Small businesses have suffered during the economic meltdown and painfully slow recovery that has followed,” Peralta said in a written statement. “Bullying and relentlessly fining them was making a bad situation that much worse. There was a sigh of relief among small business owners when this mayor was elected. The proposed new restaurant regulations are an important step toward helping small businesses succeed.”
Try to think of good uses for a decent-size parcel of land in Maspeth and a few things might come to mind. A park, for a community that has too little green space. A school, in a district that’s desperately overcrowded and is likely to only see more children come in. More manufacturing, to produce things people need and provide better jobs than the retail or service industries.
It’s unlikely your first choice would be a massive hipster haven best known for wild parties attended by thousands of young people, many of them using illegal drugs. And yet that almost certainly would be the result if the city and state approve pending applications for the old factory known as the Knockdown Center.
Sunnyside is about to shine a bit brighter after it was announced on April 11 that two new public plazas are set to come to the neighborhood through the Department of Transportation’s NYC Plaza Program.
Last year, the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District submitted an application to the plaza program with the support of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who was eager to bring more plazas to the area.
Woodhaven residents who have been demanding the city demolish a Jamaica Avenue building that partially collapsed a year ago may finally get their wish. The building could come down within a month.
The owner of the building failed to appear in court for a hearing on April 10 — almost a year to the day since the collapse — allowing the judge to give the city the authority to make the next move.
Jackson Heights is one of the most diverse areas of Queens, where a significant number of those living and working are undocumented and, according to immigrant advocates, unable to achieve the American Dream.
“I’ve been here five years and my children have been here their entire lives,” Rosa, a Jackson Heights resident and undocumented immigrant from Ecuador, said. “I would like to have better rights here and have opportunities. If not for myself, at least for my children.”
Fay Hill of Springfield Gardens never had to ask what happened when she was awakened early in the morning to the sound of screeching tires followed by a loud crash.
And she knew it was at the intersection of 181st Street and 145th Avenue.
Former GOP mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis was fined more than $11,000 by the city’s Campaign Finance Board April 10 for a mailer against Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) during the latter’s re-election campaign last year.
The CFB fined him $1,473 for not including a “paid for by” notice on a mailer attacking Ulrich during Ulrich’s re-election campaign last year.
A tense debate on potential rezoning in Ridgewood to allow for residential development aside, Community Board 5 stood together on multiple issues at its meeting last Wednesday.
During his report, District Manager Gary Giordano said CB 5 had been asked in a letter penned by area elected officials to conduct a public meeting in the near future to discuss the proposed homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale.
It will be a happier Passover for people relying on the Queens Jewish Community Council’s food pantry to enjoy the holiday.
Sticking with a tradition that has gone on for the last eight years, Stop & Shop is donating one ton of food and drink to the Queens Jewish Community Council in order to make up for the group’s shortfall this Passover.
Activists seeking to combat sexual violence — and the stigma against reporting it — gather at Queens Borough Hall. They were joined by several North Queens elected officials.
Long considered taboo throughout much of the city’s Asian population, acknowledgment of the existence of domestic violence and sexual assault is gradually becoming acceptable, as evidenced by the Korean American Family Service Center’s First Annual Rally Against Sexual Assault on the steps of Queens Borough Hall last Friday evening, with several dignitaries and hundreds of young people on hand.
The event, held to coincide with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, was spearheaded by the KAFSC’s Youth Community Project Team.
It might not be any more hip than it was before, but Community Board 5 did get younger last week.
At the board’s April 9 meeting, Chairman Vincent Arcuri announced the departures of Vernon McDermott, Manuel Caruana, Rosemarie Johnson and Roseann Rosado.
The DOE is not responding to parent demands that it not further overcrowd Bayside High School, a school that already has 1,000 more students than it was built to house.
The DOE is planning to overcrowd the already packed popular Queens high school that services students from all parts of Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn to clear space for new schools co-locating at the downsizing Flushing and Martin Van Buren High Schools — schools that do accommodate far fewer students — according to Bayside PTA Co-president Edward Tang.
Bayside High School, rated “A” by the DOE for three years in a row, is bracing for over 1,000 new students this fall, expecting to bring its enrollment to over 3,600 — 170 percent of the building’s capacity.
“Bayside is a victim of its own success and of the DOE’s unresponsiveness to this community,” said Alex Lee, a Bayside parent and member of the Citywide Council on High Schools. “The school received 14,000 applications due to the great results it produces for families and now
the DOE wants to bury it to accommodate Bloomberg’s leftover plans to downsize Van Buren and Flushing. The school already has students from all parts of Queens as well as the Bronx and Brooklyn!”
“If this goes through, Bayside would be second only to Forest Hills High School in percent overcrowding while more than half of Queens’ high schools operate below 100 percent capacity,” echoed Bayside parent Judy Rossman.
“Here’s the thing, overcrowding is not good for students or administrators. It forces a school to reduce support services, increase class sizes, and reduce safety measures. We have reached out to the chancellor and our local elected officials demanding that no more than 750 new students be admitted. We will still be way overcrowded but not as bad as the DOE is planning.”
No response from the DOE to the parents has been forthcoming
Our position is logical. We will not stand idly by if the chancellor turns a blind eye to our situation and undermines the very success that we have worked so hard to achieve. Increasing Beside’s enrollment to over 170 percent capacity is not logical and would not be a good decision for quality education or for our children’s futures.
Has anyone taken a long look at their Verizon bill? I just looked at mine and noticed the total amount I was being charged was $70.87. However, that total included $16.11, which was for “taxes, government surcharges and fees ($5.39), and $10.72, which was for Verizon surcharges and other charges and credits.
I find that these additional charges are outrageous. I am a single woman in my 80s living on a small monthly income and I cannot afford to pay these additional taxes, fees and surcharges. I wonder how many other people have found these additional charges on their telephone bills each and every month.
Our elected officials (both federal and state) should check into this to decide if we should be paying all these extra (20 percent) charges.
They were a long time in coming.
So when the New York City Housing Authority began installing security cameras at the crime-ridden Hammel Houses in Rockaway Beach on April 4, Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) and his predecessor, state Sen. James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park), made sure to be on hand.
Heavily criticized NYPD antiterror unit is disbanded
In another break from the former administration’s approach to law and order and questions of constitutional rights, the NYPD has dissolved the police detachment that had been infiltrating the Muslim community in order to thwart any planned acts of terrorism.
Not to be outdone by other Queens elected officials, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) announced a bill Monday that would not only limit pay for the Queens Library president, but also call for an entire new board of directors by January.
“The other bill, initiated by Borough President Melinda Katz, doesn’t go far enough,” Avella said. “My bill limits outside employment [for the director] and reduces the number on the board.”
The six week war between United Parcel Service and its 250 fired employees is finally over.
UPS and Teamsters Local 804 agreed to a compromise late Wednesday night, and the delivery company announced it will re-hire the 250 employees it fired from its Maspeth facility in response to a walkout the workers organized in protest of a colleague’s firing on Feb. 26.
Unlike some of the contributors to the Letters to Editor section, I have maintained my dignity by not mocking, vilifying or denigrating anyone with an opposing viewpoint. It seems my angst that our unsustainable debt and growing obligations for limitless, unconditional, well-intentioned entitlements ,once called “assistance,” have morphed into guaranteed lifestyles is evidence I support “people dying in the streets.” In their effort to create an egalitarian utopia, many are blinded by their fervor and self-righteousness and are oblivious to the unintended consequences of good intentions.
Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, is a case on point. Notwithstanding that Obamacare was passed by Congress without a single Republican vote, our Constitutional rule of law acknowledges and accepts it as the law of the land. However, since its passage, many provisions of the law have been changed, tweaked, omitted, adjusted, fine-tuned, adapted and delayed — over 30 times without congressional approval. Many Democrats seeking re-election will now be able to deny having voted for Obamacare in its present form since the original law and intent no longer exist.
Congress is the only government entity that has the power to write or change laws. We are told the justification for changes instituted by unauthorized individuals is an unselfish motive and that it will benefit the masses. William T. Gossett, a lawyer and entrepreneur, observed, “The rule of law can be wiped out in one misguided, however well-intentioned, generation.”
The foundation of our freedoms is the rule of law. No man can violate the rule of law and usurp the power of Congress by edict or proclamation. Once again, I quote author Ayn Rand: “Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.”
Cynthia Zalisky, left, of the Queens JCC and elected officials Nily Rozic, Karen Koslowitz, Grace Meng, Toby Stavisky and Ed Braunstein at the food giveaway.
Assemblyman Jeff Aubry, center, joins state Sen. Michael Gianaris, Borough President Melinda Katz and other elected officials to announce legislation drafted on the state level two weeks ago calling for vast administrative reforms at the Queens Library.