Amid frequent outbursts that resulted in at least one attendee being given a police escort out, a crowd of an estimated 300 area residents, concerned about conversion of the Westway Motor Inn into a potentially permanent shelter for homeless families, filled the auditorium for a town hall meeting at the Museum of the Moving Image on Wednesday, but in the end many questions were left unanswered.
For weeks, community leaders opposed to a new homeless shelter in Elmhurst and plans for another in Glendale have been urging residents to call city Comptroller Scott Stringer to make their opinions known.
Well, it’s working.
While elected officials and residents are still reeling over the Department of Homeless Services’ unexpected conversion of the Pan American Hotel in Elmhurst into a homeless shelter last month, the agency is at it again.
This time, the Westway Motor Inn on Astoria Boulevard has been converted into a high-capacity homeless shelter without, some contend, proper notice to those most impacted by the move.
This was supposed to be the week John Liu was to be surging with major political and union endorsements; the week state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) was supposed to be glancing nervously into his rearview mirror.
And it was — until about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, when Mayor de Blasio endorsed Avella and the Working Families Party withdrew its pledged endorsement of Liu, choosing to remain neutral in the Democratic primary in the 11th Senate District.
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.
The DREAM Act — which would extend state financial aid to students who are in the country illegally — has been passed by the state Assembly ... again.
The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights), was passed last February only to be slammed down by the Senate.
Clarence Scott, a 29-year-old from Far Rockaway, was arrested on Monday in connection with the murder of Francisco Leal on Feb. 2, 2013.
The shooting occurred on the corner of 21st Street and 41st Avenue in front of a bodega near the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City at 9:40 p.m.
After months of lobbying, parents, residents and state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) will finally get their wish.
The NYPD informed Peralta’s office that a crossing guard will be posted at PS 206, which sits just off the intersection of Junction Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway on the border of Elmhurst and Rego Park.
State Sen. Jose Peralta, far right, watches a restaurant letter-grading system presentation by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at a small business forum he sponsored. The meeting aimed to inform shop owners of recent legislation changes.
The many fines small businesses, particularly those in the food industry, face were a frequent subject of debate during former Mayor Bloomberg’s administration.
Owners complained they were being ticketed for minor infractions.
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.”
State Sen. Jose Peralta discusses human trafficking at Queensborough Community College in Bayside last week.
State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) addressed an audience of over 200 students and faculty at Queensborough Community College in Bayside last Thursday on “Human Trafficking in Our Own Backyard,” drawing a near-capacity crowd.
The talk was the culminating event of a three-week-long ongoing series of related activities, all part of the college’s Common Read Initiative, inspired this year by the featured text, “The Road to Lost Innocence,” the true story of a Cambodian woman who overcame great obstacles and used her experiences to help others stand up for human rights.
There has been a great deal of heated debate recently about the place of charter schools in the public education system and how to best pay for making full-day prekindergarten available to every eligible child.
Often lost in the rhetorical bomb throwing and lawsuit filing is this: Adding charter schools and finally making prekindergarten truly universal calls for more school buildings. Lots of them.
State Sen. Jose Peralta, the sponsor of the Dream Act, said he is disappointed that the legislation was voted down by the Senate but remains hopeful that Gov. Cuomo will keep his word and make the issue a priority.
After months of pushing and rallying, the Dream Act will remain just that, a dream.
The legislation — which would allow undocumented immigrant students to receive aid through the Tuition Assistance Program — was rejected by the state Senate on Monday. It lost by two votes, 31-29.
A crowd huddled in front of Starbucks on Friday in Jackson Heights and it wasn’t to sample a caramel macchiato.
According to city officials and residents, the Starbucks on the corner of 37th Avenue and 79th Street regularly leaves mounds of garbage on a residential street rather than in front of the store along the commercial corridor.
State Sen. Greg Ball (D-Patterson) slammed Mayor de Blasio’s municipal ID card legislation during a debate with Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) on “Up Close with Diana Williams” on Sunday morning.
The bill, which will be drafted by Dromm — a big advocate for immigration reform — was briefly discussed by the mayor during his State of the City Address two weeks ago.
UPDATE: Below this article is a transcript of an interview about the snow with Mayor de Blasio and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, issued by the Mayor's Office at 4:11 p.m.
State Sen. Jose Peralta, left, and Assemblyman Francisco Moya have both been pushing to create a state DREAM Act that would provide tuition assistance to noncitizen students applying to college.
Citing a “broken promise” to rehire union workers, Jackson Heights residents, union members and elected officials staged a protest on Wednesday outside a new supermarket on 37th Avenue set to open this week.
Standing next to a giant inflatable rat, protesters pledged to boycott Global Supermarket at 75-07 37 Ave. over the choice of the new owner, Mohammad Haque, not to rehire union workers of Local 338 and Local 342 who were unexpectedly fired two weeks before Christmas by Frank Jaber, the owner of the former Trade Fair.
The state DREAM Act has been dragged along like a loose shoelace for years as time after time the legislation is not voted through.
This year marks state Sen. Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Francisco Moya’s fourth attempt to pass the act that would provide tuition assistance to undocumented noncitizens applying to college on a needs basis.
In Western Queens, 2013 was the year of development and affordable housing. Willets Point, Hallets Point, Hunters Point and 5Pointz became names commonly thrown around by politicians, community boards and civic groups throughout the area. There wasn’t a month that didn’t go by when residents, electeds and developers went head to head on major development projects, illegal apartments, a massive soccer stadium plan or even the possible closing of their neighborhood movie theater.
Days after 8-year-old Noshat Nahian was struck and killed by a tractor trailer, state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) began drafting legislation that would make it a felony when drivers with a suspended license kill or seriously injure someone. The driver of the truck was operating the vehicle with a suspended license.
As it stands, drivers like the one involved in the death of Nahian can get away with a misdemeanor. Gianaris also proposed the immediate impoundment of the license plate of a vehicle being operated by someone with a suspended license.
Danny Catch address crowd with Councilman Danny Dromm, right, state Sen. Jose Peralta, Assemblyman Francisco Moya and dozens of former Trade Fair workers.