Midsummer isn’t a quiet time for Woodhaven residents and civic leaders.
During a town hall meeting Saturday that drew a sizable audience to Emanuel United Church of Christ, the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association addressed more than half a dozen issues, most of them ongoing problems facing the area, including graffiti, illegally parked cars, and a collapsed Jamaica Avenue building that many worry is a safety risk.
How would you spend a million dollars? Long Island City residents gathered July 9 to discuss just that.
In the second of two informational meetings held by City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), residents of the 26th Council District gathered in the Jacob Riis Settlement House to learn about participatory budgeting for the 2015-16 fiscal year, a democratic process where residents from 22 city districts have a voice in how $25 million in discretionary funds should be spent citywide.
Mayor de Blasio last Thursday signed into law the measure that will create municipal identification cards for New York City residents. Although available to anyone, the cards are especially designed for people who will not or cannot get other forms of ID, such as illegal immigrants.
The mayor noted at a hearing held the day before the bill signing that many New Yorkers don’t have driver’s licenses — though he did not address the nondriver’s ID the state offers them — and that undocumented residents are forced to “live in the shadows” because they lack proper identification.
Despite circulating petitions earlier this month with his name as a candidate for state Senate, ex-Councilman Tom Ognibene will not run, GOP sources say.
Ognibene, of Middle Village, was listed on Republican petitions as a candidate for the seat now occupied by state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach).
Diana Tarantola asked the tow truck driver where on the receipt she should sign. When he pointed to the line, she sighed.
“I should know how to do this by now,” she said.
Cross Bay Chemist in Howard Beach held a grand opening celebration at its new, larger location at 157-02 Cross Bay Blvd. on Saturday, July 5.
Councilman Eric Ulrich, left, cut the ribbon along with owner Frank Pantina, his wife, Kasia, and their twin sons, Pryce and Preston. There was food and entertainment including Elmo, face painting, music and giveaways at the event.
Queens Republicans have a new chairman.
After the death of Phil Ragusa last month, the county party’s executive vice chairman, Robert Beltrani of Jackson Heights, was automatically elevated to chairman.
At least nine bus stops in South Queens will be fitted with countdown clocks that will tell passengers how long until the next bus arrives.
The clocks, which each costs about $20,000, use GPS to track buses and estimate their time of arrival. The city Department of Transportation is spearheading the program to install them at major bus stops across the city. Currently only two have been erected, both in Staten Island.
We missed our copy of last week’s Queens Chronicle here on 90th Street in Howard Beach. No one on our block had the weekly papers delivered last Thursday. I was finally able to find your editorial, “Library gets what it paid for,” through the internet. I appreciate your comments and am so glad that reform is finally coming to the Queens borough libraries.
I had once sent in a letter about “Galante’s greed,” which was unpublished. In that issue, you ran an editorial along the same lines as my letter. I felt that the library CEO was flaunting his position at our expense — installing a smoking roof at taxpayers’ expense while the truncated hours at our branch are a hardship for many working people and for retirees, as well as for schoolchildren who depend on Saturday hours. The automated machines also seem to me an extravagance.
I also wanted to read your report on the recent civic meeting at St. Helen’s. It was well-attended and very informative. I had a chance to talk to some of the speakers. I missed our councilman, Eric Ulrich. I wanted to thank him for his vital help. We are very pleased with all of our conscient
ious politicians. They come to our meetings and are available to assist us when we need them. Bravo!
Borough President Melinda Katz, at podium, with Councilman Eric Ulrich, left, Councilman Donovan Richards, Rockaway civic leader Danny Ruscillo and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer at a City Hall rally in support of the Rockaway ferry last month.
Legislation introduced in the City Council this week would give the city Department of Investigation oversight over Sandy aid money.
The bill, introduced by Councilmembers Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn), would require the DOI commissioner to investigate instances of waste, fraud and abuse dealing with storm aid. The DOI would also advise the relevant agencies on practices and policies to improve the overall effectiveness of disaster recovery-related programs.
Supporters of the police tactic stop, question and frisk are getting ready to say “I told you so,” now that new statistics show a spike in shooting incidents.
According to the NYPD, shootings jumped 11 percent compared to the same time last year and this past weekend, there were 21 shootings alone, causing some to second-guess Mayor de Blasio’s decision to drop the city’s appeal against amendments added to stop and frisk.
Most parts of Queens have been fairly lucky this year when it comes to gun violence. While the city overall has seen an 11.2 percent rise in shootings so far this year compared to last, going by the latest available police statistics, and some areas have been subject to much worse, Queens has not.
In the southern part of the borough, as defined by the Police Deparment, the number of shooting incidents has gone up only 3.8 percent, from 52 to 54, as of June 22. And in the northern part, they’ve actually fallen 29.4 percent, from 17 to 12. Compare that to the Bronx, where they have jumped 25.4 percent, from 118 to 148. And none of these stats include the mayhem of last weekend, when there were 21 shootings across the city, including a fatal one in Cambria Heights.
Ex-City Councilman Tom Ognibene, a Republican, is circulating petitions to run for the state Senate against incumbent Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), a source tells the Queens Chronicle.
Ognibene, a Middle Village attorney, served as a city councilman representing Middle Village, Maspeth, Ridgewood and Glendale from 1992 through 2001. He attempted to take back his Council seat in 2009, but lost to Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village). He later ran for lieutenant governor as the running mate of Carl Paladino, but in a fluke lost the GOP primary to Greg Edwards, county executive of Chautauqua County in Western New York, the preferred running mate of unsuccessful GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio.
The Howard Beach Kiwanis Builders’ Club at St. Helen School ended a successful year filled with various community projects.
The club, with 24 members from grades one through eight advised by St. Helen teacher Amy Baumgarten, held a bake sale and donated proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
It’s been 30 years, what’s another 10 months?
The massive infrastructure project for Centreville, HWQ411B, is facing another delay.
Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) last week were singing the praises of an agreement on an approximately $75 billion budget.
Now the rest of the city, including Comptroller Scott Stringer, is waiting for the Council to vote on final adoption to see just how the city intends to spend the money, and where it will come from.
Phil Ragusa, 74, of Beechhurst, who led the Queens Republican Party for seven years, many of them tumultuous, died Tuesday from leukemia at New York Presybterian Hospital.
Accolades from across the state and farther have poured in about the certified public accountant who took over the helm of the Queens party from former state Sen. Serphin Maltese, who stepped down in 2007.
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) just got a big thumbs up from across the aisle.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) announced he would back Goldfeder’s campaign for re-election. Ulrich madetheannouncement at a fundraiser for Goldfeder in Rockaway Tuesday evening. The two represent much of the same area, including the Rockaways, Howard Beach, Broad Channel and Ozone Park.
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) just got a big thumbs up from across the aisle.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) announced he would back Goldfeder’s campaign for re-election and a source close to the Queens Republican Party says the GOP will seek a waiver to allow Goldfeder, a Democrat, to receive its ballot line, though he would continue to run primarily as and serve in the Assembly as a Democrat.
City Councilman Eric Ulrich
Barbara McNamara, left, joins Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, state Sen. Joe Addabo Jr., Councilman Eric Ulrich and PS 232 parent Jean Ferrera-Rodriquez outside PS 232 in Lindenwood Friday to call on the DOT to improve safety outside the school.
While Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) stood at the podium during last Friday’s press conference outside PS 232 in Lindenwood to implore the city Department of Transportation to move on installing some permanent safety improvements at the corner of 83rd Street and 153rd Avenue, an example of their concern played out behind them.
A woman drove by, stopped, backed up into the path of parents and students leaving the school and then drove up onto a heavily used sidewalk to look at purses at a kiosk in the parking lot of the Lindenwood Shopping Center.
Robert Naimoli has not been forgotten.
On Saturday, a group of about 50 relatives, veterans, and local officials gathered for a special ceremony at St. John’s Cemetery in Middle Village that paid tribute to the U.S. Army paratrooper, 70 years and a day after his plane was shot down over Picauville, France in the D-Day invasion.
After at least 26 members of the City Council last week signed a letter telling retail giant Walmart and its owners’ family foundation that donations from them to organizations in the city are not welcome, several charitable groups that receive the contributions were quoted in the media as saying they have no intention of returning the funding.
“We will not give the money back, nor should we,” Joel Berg, executive director of the Coalition Against Hunger, told the New York Post. “Our determination of whether we ask for and take money is not how the company earned the money, it’s how they want us to spend it. In this case it’s on progressive values. Never has it been tied to any public-policy agenda.”