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Public Advocate Bill de Blasio minces no words when asked why he is running for mayor and why he feels he is the best choice for the Democratic nomination.
“I am fundamentally dissatisfied with things in the city,” he said last week at a meeting with the editorial board of the Queens Chronicle.
When the USTA was initially given parkland in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, it promised it would not seek more parkland. This promise was as worthless as a dead tennis ball because the USTA thereafter sought and was given additional land in FMCP, almost doubling the size of its presence in the park. It now seeks yet more land, concededly slightly less than an acre, so as to be able to drastically increase the size of its structures in the park — another eyesore abomination that does not belong in an urban park.
Alienation of parkland requires the approval of the State Legislature. The Queens Chronicle in its June 6 edition (“USTA bill in Albany, care of ‘Senator Rules’”) reports a USTA alienation bill was introduced in the Senate, presumably at the behest of New York City Emperor Michael Bloomberg, by an unnamed senator. Any senator who hides his or her identity in sponsoring a bill is intellectually bankrupt and unfit to hold public office. A state Senate that has a rule allowing the sponsor to remain anonymous, which is the case with the New York State Senate, is also intellectually bankrupt and requires a thorough housecleaning.
The USTA proposes to replace the parkland it will now take, with FMCP land it has already taken, but reserving the right to retain its use from time to time, an arrangement that qualifies it for admission to the Chutzpah Hall of Shame. State Sen. Jose Peralta (D -East Elmhurst), while believing parkland must be replaced, dilutes his belief when he also believes the USTA’s plan to replace parkland with FMCP land is reasonable. Another example of intellectual paucity.
None of the above should come as a surprise, given how The Brennan Center For Justice, a public interest Law Center at NYU School of Law, rated the New York State Legislature the worst in the nation.
I was disappointed to read your editorial attacking Queens Pride House for holding a forum that was critical of Israeli occupation and apartheid. There is a wave of Islamophobia sweeping across the United States and anyone who doesn’t share that ugly prejudice risks being labeled ‘un-American’; in my view, that goes against the very values that makes this country so great, including freedom of speech.
It’s true that gay Muslims may face persecution in some countries because of their orientation; but those who flee to the US often face discrimination and harassment because of their religious beliefs. What Pauline Park did in organizing the June 4 forum was to provide an opportunity to examine the situation in Israel/Palestine at an event that was not dominated by those with a bias against Muslims and Arabs, and that was a real service to the borough and especially its LGBT community.
With the Senate session winding down in Albany, and about a thousand bills left to debate, the hydrofracking moratorium bill may not even hit the floor for a vote. Most Queens lawmakers oppose allowing the drilling process in New York State without conclusive scientific evidence that it can be done safely, without contaminating groundwater.
The drilling process known as hydrofracking is used to obtain natural gas from rock formations, such as the Marcellus Shale, which stretches from New York’s Southern Tier to West Virginia. Fracking involves injecting millions of gallons of water along with a slurry of sand and about 600 chemicals into a narrow horizontal pipe at high pressure to induce “mini-earthquakes,” which release the natural gas.
Queens Historical Society art exhibit — Practicing Equality: Quakers in Queens. 2:30-4:30 p.m., Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. $5 adults; $3 students, seniors; free for members. Reception: 2 p.m., Sunday, June 23. RSVP by June 14. Kingsland Homestead, 143-35 37 Ave., Flushing. Information: (718) 939-0647, ext. 17.
Protesters from the Fairness Coalition of Queens gathered ahead of a City Council Parks Committee hearing to call for more funds and better protections for Flushing Meadows.
Incredulity and perplexity reigned last Friday during a City Council hearing regarding the state of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, with Parks Department staff enduring the brunt of questioning at the hands of a Parks Committee largely made up of Queens lawmakers.
The questioning surrounded the current state of a park accustomed to a fraction of the attention left over from its more famous brethren. Dollar and staffing figures revealed a dearth of resources in the face of escalating need.
For the first time, the USTA held auditions for kids looking to sing at the US Open in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, where they lined up at Queens Theater
They came from across the borough on Tuesday afternoon to show their patriotism and win a chance to sing at the upcoming US Open Tennis Tournament at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The United States Tennis Association, the national governing body for tennis in this country and the primary promoter of the sport at every level, held its seventh annual US Open casting call for children hoping to perform at the 2013 event.
Jennifer Manley, the Queens Library’s vice president for government and community affairs, was honored at the White House Tuesday as a “Champion of Change” for her service to the community.
Manley was one of just 12 people from libraries and museums across the country who received the honor.
Isaac Sasson, Democratic candidate for City Council in the 24th Council District in Queens, announced on Tuesday that he is ending his campaign for public office.
In a brief statement, the Flushing resident said will be focusing his efforts on his philanthropy and related positions in the Orthodox Jewish community.
by Lloyd Carroll
“Gravity of the Sculpture: Part II” will remain on display at The Dorsky Gallery, 11-03 45 Ave., Long Island City, through July 3. Call (718) 937-6317, email email@example.com or visit dorsky.org.
AThe Auburndale branch of the Queens Library will be closed after this week while its roof is reconstructed.
The building at 25-55 Francis Lewis Blvd. will shut down at the end of business on Friday. During the closure, limited library service will be provided by a mobile library every Monday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m., starting June 17.
Seven months have passed since the fateful night Taysha Dominguez lost her husband, Dante, in a hit-and-run accident at the corner of 41st Avenue and Union Street in Flushing, with the driver of the vehicle still on the lam.
“To flee the scene? That’s heartless,” Dominguez said as she choked back tears, adding the loss combined with the lack of closure fueled by the driver’s disappearance has torn her family apart.
The Fort Totten Pool, the only free public pool in Northeast Queens, may not open this summer if the City Council does not restore funding before passing the final budget.
It is one of four pools that were not included in the mayor’s preliminary budget proposal, according to Parks Department spokesman Phil Abramson. The four pools together cost $1.5 million to operate for the season. The other three are: Wagner Pool in Manhattan, Faber Pool in Staten Island and Howard Pool in Brooklyn.
State Education officials have stepped in to implement a long-awaited teacher evaluation plan for the city, months after the city Department of Education and unions failed to agree on one themselves.
The plan, announced by State Education Commissioner John King on Saturday, will be four-tiered — teachers will be rated highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective —and will make it easier for underperforming teachers to be terminated. Under the plan, which will be implemented in September, a teacher rated “ineffective” twice will be subject to possible termination and there will be a shorter appeals process, which will be open only to teachers rated “ineffective,” and where the burden of proof will be on the teacher.
The a head of a Manhattan-based ad agency and a Flushing pimp have been sentenced to up to three years in prison for their role in a prostitution-based money laundering operation.
The newest and most controversial candidate in the mayoral race, Anthony Weiner, said he knows he’s got a lot to prove but believes New Yorkers will be looking forward when choosing the next mayor this fall.
“We’re making a big mistake if we think that voters are looking to the past,” Weiner said in a sitdown last Friday with the Queens Chronicle staff, the first of his candidacy. “When they go to flip that switch, it is a fundamental, forward-looking, aspirational thing.”
A trio of big-ticket projects has put Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the sights of community activists, parks advocates and Queens residents; its chewed up fields, persistent flooding and dilapidated state have become part of a broader discussion about the economic inequality between parks across the city.
In Flushing Meadows’ case, the shoddy conditions justified pushes by the city and developers to find alternate uses, including an expansion of the United States Tennis Association’s grounds, the creation of a mall alongside Citi Field and a Major League Soccer stadium.
Susan Bolger of Bayside said she heard “frighteningly loud ‘explosions’ in the sky around 10:15 a.m. last Wednesday morning.” When the cannon-like booms stopped, she contacted the FAA and learned that a plane’s engine had failed.
“GoJet 6256, a CRJ7 (flying for Delta Air Lines), returned to LaGuardia Airport shortly after departure due to a contained failure of the number one engine,” a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration said. “The flight landed safely and taxied to the ramp. GoJet flies as a Delta Connection carrier. No injuries were reported.”
In advocating a soccer stadium at the former site of Yankee Stadium, the May 23 Queens Chronicle editorial, “Build the soccer stadium in the Bronx,” is right on the mark. Since it is an excellent idea and one that did not originate with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, it is unlikely Bloomberg will adopt it.
In his misguided arrogance, Bloomberg believes in:
• an expansion by the United States Tennis Association in Flushing Meadows Corona Park;
• a trampling upon the approved 2008 Willets Point project to allow the Mets ball club, its related companies and The Related Companies to build and prioritize a 1.4 million-square-foot shopping mall next to Citi Field, which is on FMCP land;
• allowing the mall without insisting upon the replacement of alienated parkland or adherence to the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure for the project; and
• not only supporting a private, for-profit soccer stadium in FMCP, but justifying it on the preposterous claim that there is an abundance of green space in the city, so he will be leaving office with an excellent legacy.
Bloomberg’s cabal, with 21-term limited City Council persons to overrule the public’s twice-supported term limits; his mistreatment of FMCP and the people who need and use the park; his incessant need to romance with the very wealthy; and his general indifference to the plight of small businesses and the less privileged in this city all suggest he will in fact leave office with a legacy — but not what he envisions. On a scale of 1 to 10, it will be a minus 10.
I believe the majority of the people in this city, real estate moguls excepted, will welcome Bloomberg’s departure.
As members of the Jacob A. Riis Teen Academy, we learned that 6,000 of our peers in Queens are currently smoking. We are writing you today because the tobacco marketing and product displays that target kids play a big role in their decision to smoke. Tobacco marketing persuades youth to start smoking, and 88 percent of smokers start before the age of 18. The tobacco industry is spending millions of dollars each year on tobacco marketing.
Mayor Bloomberg is right to try to do something about these product displays and marketing being displayed in stores close to schools. In some stores tobacco products are placed right next to candy to get younger people to notice them. These youth are risking their lives, and they are not even fully grown. One-third of them will die prematurely as a direct result of smoking.