With Election Day around the corner, residents across Queens are firing up to cast their votes Tuesday.
In the race for governor, incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo is challenged by Republican Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive.
Democratic state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli faces Republican Robert Antonacci, the Onondaga County comptroller.
Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is up against John Cahill, former chief of staff to Governor George Pataki.
The Civil Rights Division of the U.S Department of Justice has announced that it may launch a probe into the Police Department’s “broken windows” policy, which civil rights advocates say targets minorities for petty crimes.
The DOJ’s announcement came in response to a joint letter that six New York Congressional members sent to Washington in August. They urged the department to launch an investigation into the caught-on-camera chokehold death of Staten Island man Eric Garner and the broken windows policy they said Garner was a victim of.
The Queens version of the High Line may actually happen after all.
The plan to turn the abandoned Rockaway Beach rail line into a linear park has a detailed proposal. A piece of it, in the northern end of the former Long Island Rail Road route, could even be built within the next year.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries at Community Board 10 last Thursday.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) paid a visit to Community Board 10 last Thursday to discuss the federal response to Hurricane Sandy and resiliency measures that are being taken in its aftermath.
“Normally, I’m in Washington, D.C. during the time in which this board meets,” he said. “But of course we’re in recess for the next few weeks and I wanted to make sure I made it my business to come out to be with you this evening and just share a brief thought about some of the things we are working on in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers that may be relevant to the residents still recovering from Sandy and concerned about resiliency efforts.”
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives last week, blasting the GOP majority.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) took to the House floor last week, before lawmakers adjourned for the midterm campaign recess, to voice his discontent about the Republican majority in a fiery speech for what he called their failure to address the needs of the American people.
Jeffries, who is seeking re-election to represent the 8th Congressional District, which includes most of East and Central Brooklyn and the Queens neighborhoods of Ozone Park, Lindenwood and Howard Beach, argued that the 113th Congress is the least productive in the modern history of our democracy.
There have been skepticisms and bipartisan disagreements on Capitol Hill, even among Queen’s congressional members, after President Obama’s congressional authorization for the country to train and arm the Syrian Free Army to combat the Islamic State militant group, ISIS.
Some lawmakers argued that the Muslim extremist group, who released videos of two American journalists they recently beheaded, poses an extremely high threat to the United States. Opponents like Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) said action has to be taken to degrade the terrorist group, but the country is repeating previous history in Middle Eastern conflicts when they armed rebels who later joined terrorist groups.
Following the July 17 death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner while he was resisting arrest for allegedly selling single cigarettes, an already-existing campaign to dissuade police from enforcing the law on some minor crimes and violations picked up steam. Enforcement of such laws, what is known as the broken windows theory approach to policing, is one target of the protest led by the Rev. Al Sharpton that is set to take place on Staten Island Saturday.
According to activists such as Sharpton, as well as some elected officials including three members of Congress who represent parts of Queens, broken windows policing has an unfair impact on minority communities, such as the one where Garner, who was black, died.
Despite the push to construct a linear park along the former Rockaway Beach rail line — and stiff opposition to anything being built there from some residents living alongside it — supporters of reactivating train service from Rego Park to Rockaway Beach still believe their idea is the best for Queens, and say it’s completely feasible.
It’s been 52 years since service stopped on the line between Rego Park and Ozone Park. South of there, the A train occupies the right of way into the Rockaways. Residents there say elimination of the service has left the peninsula stagnant for half a century.
With Iraq being torn apart by sectarian violence that many analysts are calling a civil war, following nearly 10 years of U.S.-led combat and occupation, the Queens Chronicle this week asked all seven members of the House of Representatives who represent parts of this borough for their thoughts on the crisis.
Five of the members were asked a series of questions over email, while one, Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau) answered similar ones during an interview about his campaign.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries at his district office in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. He represents two large swaths of Brooklyn, including its south shore, as well as Howard Beach and some other parts of western South Queens.
“How do you download the power of the federal government into the district you represent?”
That’s a key question Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) has been asking himself and trying to answer as he serves his first term in Congress.
Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, center, Jose Serrano, left, and Gregory Meeks outside City Hall last Friday, insisting that all funds meant to aid Hurricane Sandy victims do so.
Furious that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development could divert some of the approximately $3.5 billion in aid expected to assist the victims of Hurricane Sandy in rebuilding — and area municipalities in preparing for future disasters — two congressmen representing Queens and a third from the Bronx said last Friday that the agency has agreed to meet with them to discuss the dispute.
Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau), Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) and Jose Serrano (D-Bronx) made the announcement during a press conference held in front of the steps to City Hall. It followed a letter that they, and 10 other members of New York’s congressional delegation, sent to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan April 22, after media reports led by the Wall Street Journal said the agency was considering diverting some of the funding to other areas of the country hit by natural disasters.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn, Queens) paid a visit to the South Queens Democratic Club meeting in Howard Beach on March 27 to discuss issues that he has been focusing on during his first term in Congress.
Jeffries, who represents Howard Beach, Lindenwood and Ozone Park in Washington, DC, as well as most of eastern Brooklyn, was welcomed by Democratic district leader and club president Frank Gulluscio, left, and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder.
A new bill introduced by Congressman Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens) on March 4 would allow those caring for elderly relatives who do not live with them to receive a tax credit of up to $1,200 for qualified elder-care expenses.
Many of those caregivers — who, according to Israel, spend on average $5,530 out-of-pocket each year on expenses for their aging relatives — cannot claim their parents as dependents because they live elsewhere.
The House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday that would roll back the flood insurance rate hikes caused when legislation passed two years ago removed some subsidies that aim to make premiums more affordable.
The ongoing recovery from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy dominated life in South Queens for most of 2013 and was a factor in many other big stories, from the future of the abandoned Rockaway Beach LIRR line to the election battle between Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and his Democratic opponent Lew Simon.
But South Queens also dealt with a wide array of other issues in 2013, from crime at Forest Park to internal strife on Community Board 9.
Since the United States began its global war on terror more than a decade ago, hundreds of thousands of soldiers have gone overseas — to Afghanistan, Iraq and other places — to fight and protect this nation and its ideals.
Like the millions who went before them, to places like Europe, Africa, the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam and Kuwait, they served long tours far from home and in precarious situations that require a level of bravery and courage many people can only admire.
The right of way exists, the tracks exist, the infrastructure, although it needs work, still exists — if we want to improve Queens transportation and stimulate economic growth for future development of our borough, the complete restoration and rehabilitation of the abandoned Rockaway Beach Rail Line is our best option.
Sandy revealed what our communities have known for too long: We need more transit options for our families in Queens. There is no better time than right now.
Plans to develop the right of way of the old Rockaway Beach Long Island Rail Road line are moving forward in all directions.
While the urban parks advocacy group The Trust for Public Land conducts its feasibility study for the proposal to build a High Line-type park on the old rail line between Rego Park and Ozone Park, Queens College is now joining in, planning a study next year on both that plan and a competing one to reactivate train service between Rego Park and the Rockaway Peninsula.
The first set of meetings between the groups leading the study of a proposed High Line-style park on the former Rockaway Beach rail corridor and the residents who live along the line started a little on the rocky side.
Before the conglomerate of organizations, led by urban park advocacy group The Trust for Public Land and the plan’s backers, Friends of the QueensWay, even began their short presentation in Woodhaven’s Emanuel Baptist Church on Nov. 12, they were shouted down by a handful of residents who thought the workshop was a public forum.
Reaching the century mark in his life, Max Stern was honored last Friday afternoon at the Catholic Charities Howard Beach Senior Center by fellow seniors and his family and friends with a party that included music, dancing and, of course, cake.
Stern, a 45-year resident of Lindenwood, was born Nov. 20, 1913. He has been a member of the Howard Beach Senior Center for the past 10 years. He moved to the community from Brooklyn with his late wife, Reba, an artist, in 1968.
Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, at podium, and Greg Meeks, join civic leaders and other elected officials to announced the parameters of the proposed Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act last Thursday in Broad Channel.