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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.
In response to Frederick Bedell’s letter in the June 6 edition, “Stop, frisk, save lives,” whereby he actually recommends an increase in stop and frisk of citizens, this discriminatory NYPD policy has been clearly shown to unfairly harass black and Latino youth, who are verbally abused by police, pushed up against walls, made to stand spreadeagled, and forced to empty their pockets — all for doing nothing wrong and while passersby watch, with a minimal number of actual arrests, primarily for possession of marijuana.
The New York Civil Liberties Union has released a new report on stop and frisk, which finds extreme racial disparities and ineffectiveness in the program. In 2012, the NYPD stopped people 532,911 times. Nine out of 10 of those people were neither arrested nor ticketed and 87 percent were Black or Latino. White people were only 10 percent of stops. NYCLU’s Donna Lieberman says that “With a 90-percent failure rate, the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program remains a tremendous waste of resources, sows mistrust between police and the communities of color and routinely violates fundamental rights.”
Though frisks can be legally conducted only when an officer reasonably suspects the person has a weapon that might endanger officer safety, 55.8 percent of those stopped in 2012 were frisked. Of those frisked, a weapon was found only 2 percent of the time.
City Hall claims that stop and frisk has contributed to the city’s declining murder rate. Yet a closer look reveals that the number of murders each year had already begun to decline during the latter half of the 1990s, prior to the dramatic increase in police stops. Meanwhile, many other cities have experienced large declines in their murder rates without stop and frisk, using methods in which community members help highlight trouble spots and troublemakers — not by assuming everyone in a neighborhood is part of the problem.
According to their own data, the NYPD stops more than 1,800 New Yorkers a day. A New York Times analysis recently determined that more than 20 percent of those stops involve the use of force. And these are only the numbers that the Department records. In a widely seen video, a young man describes his experience of a stop, and NYPD officers explain the damage stop-and-frisk has done to their profession and their relationship to the communities served. Check out: thenation.com/article/170413/stopped-and-frisked-being-fking-mutt-video.
The stop-and-frisk tactic is clearly discriminatory, often humiliating, a waste of police resources and totally ineffective. It must be abolished.
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.
A City Council Parks Committee hearing regarding Flushing Meadows Corona Park hoped to address persistent problems such as flooding, but came up short.
Why do almost all Democratic members of the New York State Assembly act like chew toys for Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver? How can they face women voters while supporting a political boss who paid off sexual abusers with taxpayers’ money? They must demand his dismissal as Assembly leader for conduct that disgraced his party and legislative chamber.
That includes my assemblyman, Michael Simanowitz, who hasn’t spoken out publicly against Shelly Silver. Why not? His constituents deserve an explanation. In fact, they should demand it by phoning him at his district office: (718) 969-1508. Ask him: Do you support or oppose Sheldon Silver as your party’s Assembly leader? We need an answer.
I read with great interest your May 23 editorial, “Build the soccer stadium in the Bronx,” regarding Mayor Bloomberg’s push to take parkland away from the low income and immigrant people who inhabit Corona, Elmhurst, Flushing and other neighboring communities and turn it over to the foreign “fat cats” who now have the New York Yankees as their poster child for the project.
Bloomberg has been a terrible custodian of the people’s parkland; just look at the fiasco in Highland Park. Then wherever he can he turns it over to the very rich. Frankly, I thought that Bloomberg would have restored the New York State Pavilion, now known as the”Rusting Relic” to its opening-day quality and appeal. Protecting our heritage would look much better for Bloomberg than alienating parkland to provide playgrounds for the rich.
And, as you point out, quite correctly, City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras is a key player because that section of the park is in her district. Indeed, she should be on her feet screaming, “No soccer stadium in Corona Park!” But the only politician who always stands up for the people is
Tony Avella. He understands neighborhoods and people and he never takes money from special interest groups, who look to profit off the taxpayer.
I applaud the Chronicle’s quest to help save Corona Flushing Meadow Park for the people. The park is the third-largest in New York City, but gets no respect when it comes to doing the “Budget Dance” at City Hall.
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.
Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) secured funding to bring NYPD ARGUS surveillance cameras to strategic locations in his district. These cameras will help the NYPD investigate crimes, monitor key locations and enhance public safety in the community.
“One of my top priorities is to help ensure the highest level of public safety for residents,” Koo said in a statement. “Therefore, I allocated resources to purchase the latest technology and surveillance equipment to assist the NYPD in protecting our community.”
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.
An 18-wheeler on Flushing Avenue. COMET and elected officials are looking for more consistent and harsher enforcement for truck route violations. The DOT still doesn’t explicitly label the Maspeth Bypass on its website maps.
Students in the 4th through 7th grades from St. Andrew Avellino School were big winners in this year’s annual McGoldrick Library Art Contest.
The contest, themed “Dig Into Reading,” was open to all the schools in the Flushing community. There were hundreds of artworks submitted and only twenty were selected to win.
The Maspeth Bypass plan that went into effect two years ago doesn’t seem to be doing much. Residents, elected officials and civic leaders are reporting truck after truck ignoring truck route signs to avoid traffic on the Long Island Expressway.
by Lloyd Carroll
The state Senate’s Rules Committee introduced legislation that would alienate 0.68 acre of Flushing Meadows Corona Park and “replace” it with 1.5 acres currently leased to the United States Tennis Association, with no formal sponsor actually listed on the bill.
I spoke with Mets outfielder and Whitestone native Mike Baxter last Wednesday at Yankee Stadium as the Mets were in the midst of their four-game sweep of the Yankees, and I asked him if he was concerned there would be a letdown in the next series, held this past weekend, when the Mets traveled to Miami to play one of the worst teams in the majors, the Marlins.
Baxter did not pooh-pooh my question but understandably invoked the time-honored ballplayer philosophy of taking it one game at a time. “Let’s get through with this series first,” he responded.
“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.
Taysha Dominguez holds up a poster of her late husband, Dante, who died in a hit-and-run incident on 41st Avenue and Union Street in Flushing. Flanking her are Council members Rosie Mendez and Leroy Comrie, who along with Councilman Peter Koo have introduced legislation designed to help the NYPD catch hit-and-run suspects.